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Accrual Basis and Political Interest in Public Sector Accounting. The Case of a Municipal Council in Sri Lanka

Chandrasiri Abeysinghe () and Dinushika Samanthi ()

International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, 2016, vol. 6, issue 3, 58-68

Abstract: This paper contributes to the discussion of introducing accrual basis accounting to public sector. Less Developed Country (LDC) studies show a failure despite the attempt for a long. Accrual accounting is beneficial compared to cash basis as far as creation of accounting information is concerned. Moreover conversion of public sector accounting from cash to accrual basis is a requirement of New Public Management practice under neo liberal economic reforms. Hence it is worth to study the reasons for the failure. This study uses the political economic perspective and accordingly hegemonic analysis of Gramsci (1971). The study is carried out as a qualitative case study in the phenomenological tradition at the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) of Sri Lanka. Findings show that accrual basis in the current accounting framework does not work because it does not address the political interest dominating over public sector organisations. It concludes emphasizing the need of reconsidering the accounting framework of public sector having regard on political interest in the state sector before introducing accrual accounting.

Keywords: Accrual accounting; public sector accounting; political interest in accounting; new public management; hegemony and accounting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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