Brazilian Governmental Accounting Reforms: IPSAS and Accrual Accounting Adoption

19 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2014

See all articles by Ricardo Lopes Cardoso

Ricardo Lopes Cardoso

Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration; Rio de Janeiro State Univ., FAF

Andre C. B. Aquino

University of Sao Paulo - FEARP-USP

José Pigatto

Santa Maria Federal University

Date Written: July 11, 2014

Abstract

Brazilian governmental accounting is affected by two reform processes: the implementation of accrual accounting and convergence with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). This paper analyses the origins, the process and preliminary outcomes of such reforms. In order to characterize the Brazilian accounting system, we followed the questionnaire from Chan, Jones and Lüder (1996) as a protocol, analysed financial reports and reviewed official literature that regulates Brazilian public sector accounting. The paper finds that the accounting reform has two origins: the need to prepare cost accounting information (year 2000) and the requirement to converge towards IPSAS (year 2009). Reform affects both central government and subnational governments, and is being coordinated by the Treasury’s central government. In the process, the Treasury has required the adoption of some sophisticated accounting policies that were beyond the capacity of IT platform installed on either central and local governments, and has had to postpone aspects of their implementation. Treasury has used this as a convenient opportunity to select which IPSAS requirements to implement, taking into account political agendas (e.g. avoiding the recognition of deficit). For these and other reasons, some states’ courts of accounts do not require compliance with some of the standards issued by the Treasury, which impairs the comparability of accounting information prepared by different Brazilian public sector entities.

Keywords: accounting reform, public sector, Brazil, accrual accounting, IPSAS, convergence, central government, subnational government, local government, comparative research

JEL Classification: M41, H70, H60, H50

Suggested Citation

Cardoso, Ricardo Lopes and Aquino, Andre C. B. and Pigatto, José, Brazilian Governmental Accounting Reforms: IPSAS and Accrual Accounting Adoption (July 11, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2466484 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2466484

Ricardo Lopes Cardoso (Contact Author)

Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration ( email )

Rua Jornalista Orlando Dantas, 30
Office 206. Botafogo
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22231-010
Brazil
+55-21 30832713 (Phone)

Rio de Janeiro State Univ., FAF ( email )

Rua Sao Francisco Xavier, 524
bloco B, sala 1024
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro
Brazil

Andre C. B. Aquino

University of Sao Paulo - FEARP-USP ( email )

Av. Bandeirantes, 3900 - Monte Alegre
Ribeião Preto, 14040-900
Brazil
55 16 3602-4972 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.fearp.usp.br

José Pigatto

Santa Maria Federal University ( email )

Rua Marechal Floriano Peixoto
1184, 6º Andar
Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul
Brazil
+55-55-32209299 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://lattes.cnpq.br/4721687411214673

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
522
Abstract Views
2,061
rank
51,725
PlumX Metrics