Governmental Accounting and Austerity Policies: Accounting Representations of Public Debt and Deficit in Europe and Abroad
Accounting Forum (2016). DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.accfor.2016.05.003
EGPA Permanent Study Group XII “Public Sector Financial Management”, ISCTE Business School, Lisbon (Portugal), May 8-9, 2014.
Accounting, Economics and Law Research Network Conference, SASE Annual Meeting, University of Milano, 27-29 June 2013.
8th International EIASM Public Sector Conference, Edinburgh (UK), 2-4 September, 2014.
25 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2013 Last revised: 6 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 30, 2013
This article provides a theoretical view on European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS), focusing on overarching accounting principles and models, as well as their consequences on the working and the very existence of public service activity. Our analysis applies to illustrative cases concerning: meaning of public deficit on accruals basis with a view to nature and use of public debt for redistribution purpose; the strange case of taxation on public sector employees’ remunerations and benefits; accounting for employees benefits provisioning; and measurement of public debt and deficit following European Union supervision of Member States. This analysis develops a framework to assess the consistency of accounting models with non-lucrative missions of general interest that belong to public administration. It shows how budgetary accounting does (and should) complement accruals-based accounting in public sector accounting systems, asking to embed public sector accountability in a public service institutional order that is specific to public administration.
A revised published version is available at DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.accfor.2016.05.003
Keywords: EPSAS, fiscal compact, European Union, deficit spending, sovereign debt, governmental accounting, IPSAS
JEL Classification: H11, H60, H61, H62, H63, H70, H71, H74, H77, H83, M41, M48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
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