Accounting innovations: A contingent view on Italian LGs

Eugenio Anessi Pessina, Greta Nasi, Ileana Steccolini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Accounting innovations, and especially the introduction of accruals accounting, are often portrayed as fundamental aspects of public-sector reforms. An increasing body of literature has been studying the experiences of different countries and levels of government, often referring to Lueder’s (1992) “contingency model” and its subsequent developments. This model highlights a number of social, political, and administrative variables that are likely to affect government-accounting innovations. It applies at a country-wide level and is mainly intended to describe and compare the environments within which accounting reforms take place, as well as the technical features of such reforms. Our paper, on the contrary, tries to expand the contingency model by applying it to individual organisations and by testing its explanatory power. The purpose of the paper is to contribute to a better understanding of government-accounting reforms (especially those oriented towards accruals accounting) and of the factors that may explain their degree of success. Its specific focus is on Local Government accounting innovations in Italy. Our results show that information users’ and producers’ attitudes towards innovation seem to be captured by such variables as geographic location, political orientation and especially Chief Financial Officers’ own preferences, that government size is in fact an implementation barrier, while some forms of administrative fragmentation may unexpectedly play a positive role on accounting innovation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-271
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management
Volume22
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Contabilità pubblica
  • Enti locali
  • Government accounting
  • Local governments

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