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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2018

Linda Kidwell and Suzanne Lowensohn

Accounting standards are issued only after a comprehensive due process, which includes opportunities for external constituents to participate via public hearings and…

Abstract

Purpose

Accounting standards are issued only after a comprehensive due process, which includes opportunities for external constituents to participate via public hearings and comment letters. The purpose of this paper is to identify stakeholders unique to government and evaluate the extent to which they respond to 13 due process documents issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). The results provide insight into the comment letter element of due process – who participates, in what way do they participate, and why do they participate?

Design/methodology/approach

Comment letters received by the GASB in response to eleven exposure drafts and three preliminary views (PV) documents from 2010-2013 were examined, and respondents were categorized according to Cheng’s (1994) model as modified by Kidwell and Lowensohn (2011), resulting in the following 16 participant types: academics, budget officers, bureaucratic managers, state auditors/controllers, citizens, financial markets, elected officials, external auditors/CPA firms, finance officers, government accountants, government auditors, interest groups, media, professional associations, standard setters, and other governments. The authors next examined responses in favor of and opposed to for each document by group and responses by stakeholder group over time.

Findings

The authors find that participants came from various stakeholder groups. Consistent with findings in different standard-setting environments, the primary financial statement preparers – finance officers – were the most frequent individual respondents; however, there was participation from a wide variety of stakeholders. Responses are generally constructive and relatively consistent in their balance of favorable and unfavorable feedback over time, with a few exceptions. Closer examination of comment letters in response to the financial projections PV document reveals both conceptual and practical considerations underlying respondent participation.

Research limitations/implications

Motivations for participation were discerned from the letter content, but direct data on motivation was not measured, limiting the conclusions to apparent motivation. Future research might examine the extent to which comment letter content is incorporated into the basis of conclusions section of issued standards to assess the direct impact of comment letters on the governmental accounting standard-setting process. It would also be relevant to trace specific projects that advanced from a PV stage to the exposure draft stage to assess whether the proportional participation of these stakeholder groups is different throughout due process.

Practical implications

The GASB has long been receptive to constituent feedback (Lowensohn, 2000) and can glean useful input from comment letters. By closely examining arguments impounded within comment letters, including conceptual and practical considerations, and by utilizing a more delineated understanding of the stakeholders in governmental accounting standard setting, the Board can better forge into the future.

Originality/value

Much of the extant research documents that stakeholder participation is relatively low, given the number of parties affected by accounting standards. Prior research into both public and private sector accounting standard setting in the USA and abroad has not used all unique actors specific to the public sector. Using a comprehensive stakeholder model designed for the governmental environment, the authors examine who participates in the GASB comment letter process, assess the nature of GASB comment letter participant responses, determine whether relative participation by stakeholder group is relatively constant over time, and consider why the participants respond.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Donald Samelson, Suzanne Lowensohn and Laurence E. Johnson

Prior research addresses relationships between audit attributes and perceptions of both audit quality and auditee satisfaction in the private sector. This study extends…

Abstract

Prior research addresses relationships between audit attributes and perceptions of both audit quality and auditee satisfaction in the private sector. This study extends such research to local government audits, where audit quality has been questioned. Additionally, this study investigates the effect of auditor size on perceived audit quality and satisfaction. 302 finance directors surveyed positively associated auditor expertise, responsiveness to client, professionalism, understanding of client systems, and study of internal controls with perceived audit quality. Furthermore, auditee satisfaction was positively related to auditor expertise, responsiveness to client, audit manager involvement, understanding of client systems and study of internal controls. Big 5 firms were not associated with higher levels of perceived audit quality or auditee satisfaction, despite charging significantly higher audit fees.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

Suzanne H. Lowensohn and Jacqueline L. Reck

Coverage of governmental accounting is typically light within both accounting and public administration programs, and instructors generally do not have access to the same…

Abstract

Coverage of governmental accounting is typically light within both accounting and public administration programs, and instructors generally do not have access to the same number of resources that they may find for courses which have been ingrained in their curricula for decades. Hence, it can be difficult for instructors to create or maintain student interest in governmental accounting without such resources. The purpose of this paper is to examine how instructors can emphasize relevance to increase the interest level of students in governmental accounting and to discuss how current resources and various pedagogical tools may be used as facilitators.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Abstract

Details

Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-393-8

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2010

Abstract

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Book part
Publication date: 29 August 2017

Timothy J. Fogarty and Suzanne Lowensohn

Recent changes to the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam provide an occasion to widely and broadly reflect about the longer run trajectory of the nature of…

Abstract

Recent changes to the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam provide an occasion to widely and broadly reflect about the longer run trajectory of the nature of this exam and about professional licensure. Based on a review of recent changes, we develop a set of general purposes served by the exam. We discuss the relative consistency between these purposes and academic values with the goal of evaluating the alignment of exam objectives with academic values. Concluding that accounting education and admission to accounting practice are not perfectly parallel, the chapter reviews the possibilities for academics to adjust our values or to alter our pedagogical practices. Furthermore, for a variety of reasons, the CPA Examination makes fewer appearances in the accounting education literature than it did in the past. We offer recommendations to reduce the points of schism and propose research relevant to the problem.

Details

Advances in Accounting Education: Teaching and Curriculum Innovations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-343-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

John F. Sacco and Gerard R. Busheé

This paper analyzes the impact of economic downturns on the revenue and expense sides of city financing for the period 2003 to 2009 using a convenience sample of the…

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of economic downturns on the revenue and expense sides of city financing for the period 2003 to 2009 using a convenience sample of the audited end of year financial reports for thirty midsized US cities. The analysis focuses on whether and how quickly and how extensively revenue and spending directions from past years are altered by recessions. A seven year series of Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) data serves to explore whether citiesʼ revenues and spending, especially the traditional property tax and core functions such as public safety and infrastructure withstood the brief 2001 and the persistent 2007 recessions? The findings point to consumption (spending) over stability (revenue minus expense) for the recession of 2007, particularly in 2008 and 2009.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Book part
Publication date: 17 December 2007

Abstract

Details

Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-393-8

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 1 March 2010

Abstract

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Book part
Publication date: 27 October 2016

Alexandra L. Ferrentino, Meghan L. Maliga, Richard A. Bernardi and Susan M. Bosco

This research provides accounting-ethics authors and administrators with a benchmark for accounting-ethics research. While Bernardi and Bean (2010) considered publications…

Abstract

This research provides accounting-ethics authors and administrators with a benchmark for accounting-ethics research. While Bernardi and Bean (2010) considered publications in business-ethics and accounting’s top-40 journals this study considers research in eight accounting-ethics and public-interest journals, as well as, 34 business-ethics journals. We analyzed the contents of our 42 journals for the 25-year period between 1991 through 2015. This research documents the continued growth (Bernardi & Bean, 2007) of accounting-ethics research in both accounting-ethics and business-ethics journals. We provide data on the top-10 ethics authors in each doctoral year group, the top-50 ethics authors over the most recent 10, 20, and 25 years, and a distribution among ethics scholars for these periods. For the 25-year timeframe, our data indicate that only 665 (274) of the 5,125 accounting PhDs/DBAs (13.0% and 5.4% respectively) in Canada and the United States had authored or co-authored one (more than one) ethics article.

Details

Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-973-2

Keywords

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