Accrual output based budgeting systems in Australia the rhetoric-reality gap

Tyrone Carlin*, James Guthrie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes accrual output based budgeting (AOBB) systems and examines their adoption in Australia. An analysis of claims made about AOBB systems by central agency reformers is set out, and the conclusion offered that these claims are fundamentally rhetorical in their characteristics. These rhetorical claims are contrasted against a critical analysis which suggests that despite the claims made by reformist elements in favour of the adoption of these systems, the structural and empirical elements of AOBB systems as implemented in Australia raise considerable doubts as to whether suggested benefits will be realised in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-162
Number of pages18
JournalPublic Management Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2003


  • Accruals
  • Budgeting
  • New public financial management


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