Cash to accrual accounting

does it mean more control for the public sector? The case of revenue from non-exchange transactions

Francesco Capalbo, Marco Sorrentino

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Within the New Public Management, a fundamental role is played by changes in accounting measurement and recognition systems (in this case, the literature speaks specifically of New Public Financial Management). It has been substantially characterized by a gradual shift from cash to accrual accounting. In light of it, this paper aims to analyze some of the most significant conceptual and practical implications associated with the use of accrual accounting in the public sector – such as Italy’s, where most entities still use cash accounting – by looking closely at that full-accrual standard that seem to best show the system’s innovative reach: IPSAS 23 – Revenue from Non-Exchange Transactions (Taxes and Transfers). The switch-over broadens the scope of the accounting system, thereby leading to the recognition and consequent valuation of all the resources of any public-sector entity in its financial statements. As is often the case, though, greater utility implies greater complexity and innumerable elements of uncertainty are evidently still present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalRisk Governance and Control: Financial Markets and Institutions
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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