Impact of IPSAS on Reforming Governmental Financial Information Systems: A Comparative Study
The diversity in reformed governmental financial information systems created a need for harmonized international accounting standards, resulting in the elaboration of the IPSAS (International Public Sector Accounting Standards). By means of a survey to experts this study examines the extent to which governments in Europe adopt IPSAS-inspired accrual accounting and how the differing levels of adoption can be explained.The study reveals diversity in the adoption process of IPSAS-inspired accrual accounting. Some governments still account cash based. Only a minority apply IPSASs. The majority of local and central governments apply accrual accounting disregarding IPSASs.The trend toward accrual accounting can be explained by the need for transparency, efficiency and performance management. The fact that the IPSAS are unique and offer specific know-how is the main argument to make use of them. A number of jurisdictions do not adopt IPSASs because they transfer their own local business accounting rules.
Public sector accounting reforms, IPSAS, New Public Management, comparative study
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