Politics of Financial Reporting and the Consequences for the Public Sector

14 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2007

See all articles by Christine Merle Ryan

Christine Merle Ryan

Queensland University of Technology - School of Accountancy

James Guthrie

Macquarie University - Department of Accounting and Finance; University Of Bologna - Department of Management; Macquarie University, Faculty of Business and Economics

Ron Day

The University of Sydney

Abstract

This article examines the political processes surrounding public sector accounting standard setting, in particular, the Australian decision to adopt sector-neutral International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). It contends that the history of private and public sector involvement in the accounting standard setting process to date, and recourse to regulatory theory, assist in understanding these contemporary developments. The article reveals that private sector interests have dominated accounting standard setters at all important stages of standard setting in Australia. It concludes by arguing that, given this continued neglect by standard setters, if public sector financial reporting standards are to remain relevant to the public sector, then it may be necessary for public sector regulators to set their own standards.

Suggested Citation

Ryan, Christine Merle and Guthrie, James and Day, Ron, Politics of Financial Reporting and the Consequences for the Public Sector. Abacus, Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 474-487, December 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1031776 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6281.2007.00243.x

Christine Merle Ryan

Queensland University of Technology - School of Accountancy ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia
+61 7 3864 4320 (Phone)
+61 7 3864 1812 (Fax)

James Guthrie (Contact Author)

Macquarie University - Department of Accounting and Finance ( email )

Sydney - NSW, 2109
Australia

University Of Bologna - Department of Management ( email )

P.Le Vittoria 15
Forli', 47121
Italy
+39-0543-374-621 (Phone)

Macquarie University, Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Australia

Ron Day

The University of Sydney ( email )

Faculty of Economics and Business
Cnr Rose and Coddrington Streets
Darlington, New South Wales 2006
Australia
+61 2 9351 6492 (Phone)

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