After decades of reforms and academic research on public sector financial and management accounting, it is time to assess the outcome of this long wave of initiatives aimed at improving the management, the transparency and the accountability of public sector entities. The term ‘innovation’ is an umbrella term including, for example, accrual accounting, accrual-based budgeting, performance and programme-based budgeting, sophisticated cost accounting systems and performance auditing. In this global movement, some countries are considered ‘pioneers’ and others ‘latecomers’. Moreover, the magnitude and intensity of reforms show striking differences between types of public sector entity (for example central government, local government, public hospitals, public universities). This definitely constitutes an environment where analysis, thorough study and constructive synthesis would thrive. Adequate time has elapsed since the implementation of these reforms in financial accounting, management accounting, performance measurement and auditing, that it is both timely and critical to distinguish between best and poor practices, as well as successful attempts and failed ones. Furthermore, emerging innovative tools for communication (for example popular reporting and integrated reporting), as well as for management, deserve attention and deep analysis both from a practical and an academic viewpoint. Studying the existing pluralism and unraveling whether heterogeneity serves a purpose and which are the best practices could provide a stepping-stone for the future.
Public Money & Management is planning a mini theme to evaluate the outcome of this long wave of reforms, their effectiveness, their contribution to the sounder use of public finances or the reasons for their limited impact. Academics and practitioners are invited to contribute. The use of a comparative approach would be particularly welcome. Questions that papers and articles might address include:
- Has this reform wave paid off; if so, where and how?
- Has innovation really led to improved efficiency and effectiveness in public management?
- What are the main advantages of particular innovative processes in practice?
- Do the users of the information generated by the new financial and management accounting systems believe that they are better informed?
- Are there any lessons learned from the past that could pave a better way forward?
- Did the innovative financial and management accounting systems help countries or entities to face the financial crisis and better plan budget cuts or austerity measures? How?
- Have these systems achieved enhancing citizens’ awareness in public sector finances and increasing democratic participation?
- Has the adoption of sophisticated accounting systems affected the cost of capital of public sector entities?
- Are new tools of financial reporting (for example integrated reporting) suitable for meeting the information needs of different types of stakeholders?
The mini theme will include up to three papers, one new development article and two debate articles see the journal’s instructions for authors at http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rpmm20/current.
Papers for consideration should be submitted to Eugenio Caperchione, Modena and Reggio Emilia University, Italy (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 31 July 2017. Papers will be blind refereed by two reviewers: a practitioner and an academic. Papers and articles submitted to PMM for review must not be under consideration by any other publication.
- Guest Editor: Eugenio Caperchione (email@example.com)
- Guest Editor: Sandra Cohen
- Guest Editor: Francesca Manes Rossi
- Guest Editor: Isabel Brusca