Accounting Change in Dutch Government: Exploring the Gap between Expectations and Realisations
Posted: 27 Jun 2000
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
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