The Effect of IPSAS on Reforming Governmental Financial Reporting: An International Comparison
International Review of Administrative Sciences 0(0) 1-20, 2014, DOI: 10.1177/0020852314546580
Posted: 16 Jan 2015
Date Written: 2014
Over the past 25 years, significant New Public Management (NPM) reforms, particularly towards accrual accounting, have characterized the public sector in many countries. The diversity in public financial information systems created a need for harmonization, resulting in the elaboration of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). Despite their relevance, little is known on the adoption process of IPSAS. This study aims to examine to what extent IPSAS(-like) accrual accounting is adopted in central/local governments worldwide as well as to investigate which factors affect the differing level of their adoption. Methodologically, a specific questionnaire constructed to obtain relevant information from local experts was sent worldwide to a sample of countries. The study reveals an important move to accrual accounting, particularly to IPSAS accrual accounting, for which there still remains a level of reluctance mainly in central governments, especially in countries where businesslike accrual accounting has been developed.
Keywords: central government accounting reform, comparative public accounting, IPSAS, local
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