Search results

1 – 10 of 53
Article
Publication date: 27 March 2023

Laurence Ferry, Henry Midgley and Stuart Green

The study explains why Parliamentarians in the United Kingdom (UK) focused on accountability through data during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as on how data could be used to…

Abstract

Purpose

The study explains why Parliamentarians in the United Kingdom (UK) focused on accountability through data during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as on how data could be used to improve the government’s response to the pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

Understanding the implications of accountability for COVID-19 is crucial to understanding how governments should respond to future pandemics. This article provides an account of what a select committee in the UK thought were the essential elements of these accountability relationships. To do so, the authors use a neo-Roman concept of liberty to show how Parliamentary oversight of the pandemic for accountability was crucial to maintaining the liberty of citizens during the crisis and to identify what lessons need to be learnt for future crises.

Findings

The study shows that Parliamentarians were concerned that the UK government was not meeting its obligations to report openly about the COVID-19 pandemic to them. It shows that the government did make progress in reporting during the pandemic but further advancements need to be made in future for restrictions to be compatible with the protection of liberty.

Research limitations/implications

The study extends the concept of neo-Roman liberty showing how it is relevant in an emergency situation and provides an account of why accountability is necessary for the preservation of liberty when the government uses emergency powers.

Practical implications

Governments and Parliaments need to think about how they preserve liberty during crises through enhanced accountability mechanisms and the publication of data.

Originality/value

The study extends previous work on liberty and calculation, providing a theorisation of the role of numbers in the protection of liberty.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 July 2021

Laurence Ferry, Guanming He and Chang Yang

The authors investigate how executive pay and its gap with employee pay influence the performance of Thailand tourism listed companies.

Abstract

Purpose

The authors investigate how executive pay and its gap with employee pay influence the performance of Thailand tourism listed companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors manually collect data on the executives' and employees' remunerations for Thailand tourism listed companies and use the data for the authors’ OLS regression analysis. To check the robustness of the results to potential endogeneity issues, the authors employ the two-stage least-squares regression analysis and the impact threshold for a confounding variable approach.

Findings

The authors find that short-term executive compensation enhances firm performance, and that long-term executive compensation reduces the likelihood of unfavorable corporate performance. The authors also find that the gap in short-term pay between executives and employees has an inverted-U relation with firm performance.

Research limitations/implications

This study suggests that higher executive pay relative to employee pay could encourage executives to work hard to improve corporate performance, but that too large a pay gap between executives and employees could impair employees' morale and harm firm performance.

Practical implications

It is important for tourism companies to not only pay executives well but also avoid too large a pay gap between executives and employees.

Social implications

This study implies the important role of compensation design in contributing to employee engagement and good performance for tourism firms.

Originality/value

This study sheds light on agency problems between executives and employees in tourism companies and provides new evidence and insights on compensation research in the tourism sector in emerging markets.

Details

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9792

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 September 2021

Laurence Ferry and Mark Sandford

The relationship between central and sub-national (local) government is contentious around distribution of power and control. There is a specific concern when a (local) place has…

Abstract

Purpose

The relationship between central and sub-national (local) government is contentious around distribution of power and control. There is a specific concern when a (local) place has power devolved, but centralised hierarchical accountability pervades.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper addresses that concern by considering recent innovative developments around place-based accountability arrangements in England, through analysis of official reports and news media.

Findings

The article illustrates aspirations towards accountability to the local electorate clash with hierarchical accountability that remains an omnipresent mechanism of central control. It is suggested, accountability forums be developed to blend hierarchy and the place leadership role of directly elected mayors. This could enable local accountability to the electorate, whilst taking account of the context of specific regional level complexities.

Originality/value

This is one of the first papers to consider issues of place leadership and place based accountability within the framework of hierarchical accountability for central and local government relations.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 July 2023

Thomas Ahrens, Laurence Ferry and Rihab Khalifa

This paper seeks to contribute to the debate on the usefulness of institutional theory to critical studies. It pursues this topic by exploring some of the possibilities for…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to contribute to the debate on the usefulness of institutional theory to critical studies. It pursues this topic by exploring some of the possibilities for allocating local authority funds more fairly for poor residents. This paper aims to shed light on the institution of budgeting in a democratically elected local government under austerity.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses world culture theory, the study of the devolution of cultural authority to individuals and organisations through which they turn into agentic actors. Based on a field study of Newcastle City Council’s (NCC’s) budget-related practices, the paper uses the notion of actorhood to explore the use of fairness in austerity budgets.

Findings

This paper documents how new concerns with fairness gave rise to new local authority practices and gave NCC characteristics of actorhood. This paper also shows why it might make sense for a local authority that is managing austerity budget cuts and cutting back on services to make more detailed performance information public, rather than attempting to hide service deterioration, as some prior literature suggests. This paper delineates the limits to actorhood, in this study’s case, principally the inability to overcome structural constraints of legal state power.

Practical implications

The paper is suggestive of ways in which local government can fight inequality in opposition to central government austerity.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first qualitative accounting study of actorhood. It coins the phrase fairness assemblage to denote a combination of various accounting technologies, organisational elements and local government practices.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 26 August 2022

Giuseppe Grossi and Daniela Argento

The purpose of this paper is to explain how public sector accounting has changed and is changing due to public governance development.

6837

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain how public sector accounting has changed and is changing due to public governance development.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper conducts a traditional literature review based on selected studies in the fields of accounting, public administration and management. The aim of the review is to explain how diverse forms of public governance influence the fate of public sector accounting, including accountability, performance measurement, budgeting and reporting practices.

Findings

Public governance is developing into more inclusive but also complex forms, resulting in network, collaborative and digital governance. Consequently, the focus and practices of public sector accounting have changed, as reflected in new types of accountability, performance measurement, budgeting and reporting practices.

Research limitations/implications

Drawing upon literature from different fields enables a deeper understanding of the changes in public sector accounting. Nevertheless, the intention is not to execute a systematic literature review but to provide an overview and resolve the scattered body of knowledge generated by previous contributions. The areas of risk management and auditing were not included and deserve further attention.

Originality/value

This paper discusses the need to continually redefine and reassess public sector accounting practices, by recognising the interdependencies between different actors, citizens and digital technologies.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 35 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 3 January 2023

Giuseppe Grossi, Ileana Steccolini, Pawan Adhikari, Judy Brown, Mark Christensen, Carolyn Cordery, Laurence Ferry, Philippe Lassou, Bruce McDonald III, Ringa Raudla, Mariafrancesca Sicilia and Eija Vinnari

The purpose of this polyphonic paper is to report on interdisciplinary discussions on the state-of-the-art and future of public sector accounting research (PSAR). The authors hope…

6036

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this polyphonic paper is to report on interdisciplinary discussions on the state-of-the-art and future of public sector accounting research (PSAR). The authors hope to enliven the debates of the past and future developments in terms of context, themes, theories, methods and impacts in the field of PSAR by the exchanges they include here.

Design/methodology/approach

This polyphonic paper adopts an interdisciplinary approach. It brings into conversation ideas, views and approaches of several scholars on the actual and future developments of PSAR in various contexts, and explores potential implications.

Findings

This paper has brought together scholars from a plurality of disciplines, research methods and geographical areas, showing at the same time several points of convergence on important future themes (such as accounting as a mean for public, accounting, hybridity and value pluralism) and enabling conditions (accounting capabilities, profession and digitalisation) for PSA scholarship and practice, and the richness of looking at them from a plurality of perspectives.

Research limitations/implications

Exploring these past and future developments opens up the potential for interesting theoretical insights. A much greater theoretical and practical reconsideration of PSAR will be fostered by the exchanges included here.

Originality/value

In setting out a future research agenda, this paper fosters theoretical and methodological pluralism in the interdisciplinary research community interested in PSAR in various contexts. The discussion perspectives presented in this paper constitute not only a basis for further research in this relevant accounting area on the role, status and developments of PSAR but also creative potential for practitioners to be more reflective on their practices and also intended and united outcomes of such practices.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 July 2021

Laurence Ferry and Henry Midgley

The study focusses on explaining why advocates for reform to state audit in the United Kingdom (UK) in the early 1980s, focussed on improving the links between the new National…

Abstract

Purpose

The study focusses on explaining why advocates for reform to state audit in the United Kingdom (UK) in the early 1980s, focussed on improving the links between the new National Audit Office (NAO) and Parliament, rather than on traditional notions of audit independence. The study shows how this focus on the auditor's link to Parliament depends on a particular concept of liberty and relates this to the wider literature on the place of audit in democratic society.

Design/methodology/approach

Understanding the issue of independence of audit in protecting the liberties and rights of citizens needs addressed. In this article, the authors investigate the creation of audit independence in the UK in the National Audit Act (1983). To do so, the authors employ a neo-Roman concept of liberty to historical archives ranging from the late 1960s to 1983.

Findings

The study shows that advocates for audit reform in the UK from the 1960s to the 1980s were arguing for an extension to Parliament's power to hold the executive to account and that their focus was influential on the way that the new NAO was established. Using a neo-Roman concept of liberty, the authors show that they believed Parliamentary surveillance of the executive was necessary to secure liberty within the UK.

Research limitations/implications

The neo-Roman republican concept of liberty extends previous studies in considering the importance of audit for public accountability, the preservation of liberty and democracy.

Practical implications

Public sector audit can be a fundamentally democratic activity. Auditors should be alert to the constitutional importance of their work and see parliamentary accountability as a key objective.

Originality/value

The neo-Roman concept of liberty extends previous studies in considering the importance of audit for public accountability, preservation of liberty and democracy.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Thomas Ahrens and Laurence Ferry

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on new accountability relationships between Newcastle City Council (NCC) and its citizens and stakeholders in the wake of the British…

3829

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on new accountability relationships between Newcastle City Council (NCC) and its citizens and stakeholders in the wake of the British government’s austerity politics and its budget cuts for local authorities. It seeks to show some of the ways in which various kinds of budgeting, for example, for alternative sources of funding, the use of volunteers for service provision, resource sharing, and asset transfers, as well as a diverse set of accounts of the social implications of resource diversions and service cuts, have been implicated in those changes.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a qualitative field study of some of the uses of budgets in the shaping of accountability relationships through interviews with council officers, conversations with activists and citizens, analysis of council and other documents, and observation of public meetings and demonstrations. The approach focused on the relationship between the city’s political grassroots and the NCC leadership and administration.

Findings

The authors find that NCC’s senior politicians and officers co-opted the city’s political grassroots and managed to reconstitute local political accountability to citizenry and stakeholders as a choice between the cessation of different types of local government services, by combining appeals to the legal framework of English local authorities, the unfairness of national politics, and the fairness of local government service provision. Local government blamed the funding cuts and the resulting resource shortages on the central government. It sought to push responsibility for cuts to the local citizenry whilst reserving for itself the role of mediator and adjudicator who makes the final decisions about the portfolio of causes that will be funded.

Originality/value

This is the first study to offer detailed insight into the effects of the British government’s austerity budget cuts of local authority grants on the politics of accountability in a local authority.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 20 March 2023

Abstract

Details

Measurement in Public Sector Financial Reporting: Theoretical Basis and Empirical Evidence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-162-5

Book part
Publication date: 15 June 2022

Lourdes Torres and Ignacio Cabeza

The Court of Auditors – Tribunal de Cuentas – is the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) of Spain which, together with the Regional Audit Institutions (RAIs) of the Autonomous…

Abstract

The Court of Auditors – Tribunal de Cuentas – is the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) of Spain which, together with the Regional Audit Institutions (RAIs) of the Autonomous Communities – Órganos de Control Externo – carry out the institutional external audits in Spain. At internal level, the Intervención General de la Administración del Estado (IGAE) and the internal comptroller bodies of the Autonomous Communities and the Local Entities, carry out the internal audit on the three levels of the Spanish public sector, contracting in some cases private audit firms. So, the structure of the public audit in Spain is fragmented. With respect to the scope, although in theory the three types of audit are carried out on the public entities in Spain (legality compliance audits, accounting and finance audits and performance audits), in practice the last one is not enough implemented. There are room for improvements. Public audits in Spain include more and more actions for electronic administration environments.

Details

Auditing Practices in Local Governments: An International Comparison
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-085-7

Keywords

1 – 10 of 53