Accounting Change in Dutch Government: Exploring the Gap between Expectations and Realisations

Posted: 27 Jun 2000

See all articles by Henk J. ter Bogt

Henk J. ter Bogt

University of Groningen - Faculty of Economics and Business - Dept. of Accounting

G. Jan van Helden

University of Groningen - Faculty of Economics and Business

Abstract

This paper develops a broad framework for understanding accounting changes in Dutch government organizations. Two major accounting changes concern the transition from centrally controlled to divisionalized organizations and the replacement of input control by output control. The framework is illustrated with empirical findings on processes of accounting change, which took place in a number of governmental organizations in the Netherlands. These illustrations show that a wide gap exists between the ideal concept of formal accounting change and its ultimate development, as well as between the newly developed accounting instruments and their actual application. The framework provides several reasons for these gaps, such a lack of budgetary pressure, insufficient commitment of top management, as well as too little attention for enablers of the change process. The latter refers to maintaining traditional compensation schemes and insufficient attention paid to training employees.

Key Words: Management Accounting; Accounting change; Government

JEL Classification: M40, M46, H11

Suggested Citation

ter Bogt, Henk J. and van Helden, G. Jan, Accounting Change in Dutch Government: Exploring the Gap between Expectations and Realisations. As published in Management Accounting Research, Vol 11, No 2, June 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=234257

Henk J. Ter Bogt (Contact Author)

University of Groningen - Faculty of Economics and Business - Dept. of Accounting ( email )

P.O. Box 800
9700 AV Groningen
Netherlands
+31 50 363 7191 (Phone)

G. Jan Van Helden

University of Groningen - Faculty of Economics and Business ( email )

Postbus 72
9700 AB Groningen
Netherlands
+31 50 363 3673 (Phone)
+31 50 363 3720/3673 (Fax)

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