Journal Article

Globalization: governmental accounting and International Financial Reporting Standards

Alan Robb and Susan Newberry

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 5, issue 4, pages 725-754
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online October 2007 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwm017
Globalization: governmental accounting and International Financial Reporting Standards

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  • Moral Philosophy
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From the early 1990s, Australia and New Zealand pioneered the application of business-style accounting practices to all government activities. Today these business-style practices are advocated for governments around the world, either via International Financial Reporting Standards or via the similar International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). Although accounting might seem purely technical, accounting practices can carry with them significant constitutional and political (social) implications. Business-style accounting was not devised for governments and is not suited to provide the essential constitutional safeguards or to fulfil governments' public accountability obligations. These points are illustrated using evidence from New Zealand before explaining that today's IPSAS developments were led initially from New Zealand. This article urges those in other countries to consider constitutional and political implications before proceeding with this development.

Keywords: financial institutions; governmental accounting; international financial reporting standards; public sector reforms; New Zealand; H11 structure; scope and performance of government; M41 accounting; P11 planning; coordination and reform

Journal Article.  11684 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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