Harmonising European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS): Issues and Perspectives for Europe's Economy and Society
Accounting, Economics and Law: A Convivium. Volume 4, Issue 3, Pages 165-178. DOI: 10.1515/ael-2014-0015, October 2014
Posted: 10 Nov 2014
Date Written: October 17, 2014
Accounting systems play a hidden but fundamental role as mode and instrument of representation, coordination and organisation for the public sector and its specific public action. Therefore, financial and accounting reforms transform, implement and reshape public policies as well as the working and very existence of public administration. Last March 2013, the European Commission started a relevant project with the intention to create harmonised “European Public Sector Accounting Standards” (EPSAS) and implement them in the Member States. Between 1995 and 2002, a similar project was already achieved for private sector accounting standards-setting, leading to adoption and implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) issued by International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). The EPSAS project should decide if public sector accounting standards-setting shall follow a similar pattern to converge towards the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) that transplant the IFRS in the public sector. This choice may have fundamental implications for the European (Monetary) Union, since public sector accounting and public finances are fundamental elements of its institutional framework. This thematic issue aims to provide analyses and perspectives on this ongoing public sector accounting harmonisation process in Europe, addressing its governance and contents, as well as its consequences and implications for Europe’s economy and society.
Keywords: public sector accounting, public finances, fiscal compact, IPSAS, European Union
JEL Classification: H11, H60, H61, H62, H63, H70, H71, H74, H77, H83, M41, M48
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