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Italy’s experience reveals the extent of the challenge for the EU’s public sectors adoption of accrual accounting

Despite the European Union’s (EU) aspirations, the move to European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS) may take more time and be more difficult than anticipated as EPSAS will have to deal with a number of social, cultural, and political factors individual to each member state, according to a research by Newcastle University London professor of accounting and finance Ileana Steccolini.

In a blog post published on the IFAC knowledge gateway, Steccolini wrote that the experiences of the Italian central government’s public sector accounting reforms provide a good case study into the issues other EU member states might face when implementing accrual.

In her blog Steccolini who is also a member of CIPFA faculty board, argues that “although on the surface [public sector reporting practices] appear to be modernized, accounting and administrative systems actually remain strongly rooted in the “old” public administration bureaucratic tradition, where cash and commitment budgetary accounting still play a central role.”

The full blog post can be found on IFAC’s global knowledge gateway webpage

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