They definitely value quick and accurate statistics to evaluate the performance of Government. 12-17. 185-209. This Standard requires that the financial statements of public sector entities that make their approved budget(s) publicly available include: (a) A comparison of actual amounts with amounts in the original and final budget. An interesting dilemma then emerges: Should we rely on certain accounting standards, supported by the accounting profession, at the expense of user preferences? This is good news because this theme was under-researched for a long time. Required: i) In relation to the Conceptual Framework, which category of users is regarded as primary users of the GPFRs of public sector entities? (2004), “Politicians in search of performance information? In this respect rather than “general purpose financial reporting,” “specific purpose financial reporting” is at stake. Tagesson, T. (2014), “The conditions for and the users of public sector accounting”, in Budding, T., Grossi, G. and Tagesson, T. (Eds), Public Sector Accounting, Chapter 1, Routledge, London, pp. This implies that we do not pretend that the three themes we explore are comprehensive for the “usability-use” phenomenon, but that they are at least important and possibly even crucial. A restriction of the review to the last 15 years is appropriate because other reviews (Buylen and Christiaens, 2016, pp. Moreover, citizens are represented by elected politicians in the legislative, who due to their involvement in the decision making or accountability about policy programs and projects have to be seen as a main group of AI users. (2016), “Talking numbers? Budgetary decisions remain to be predominantly taking place on an input-base, but the background information on performances may play a role, which may give rise to certain questions: why has the performance gone down, while the budget remained the same, or why is a budget increase proposed while performance remains the same? We are looking forward to conceptual and empirical studies about users and their needs of public sector AI and we hope that our contributions in this paper serve as an inspiration for challenging future research. They rather emphasized what AI potential users ought to need for rational-economic decision making. Did the business reinvest all its profit? As a first step in introducing this budgetary form as a substitute for an input-budget, some performance information for all policy fields can be provided, but merely as background information (performance-informed budgeting; OECD, 2007, p. 21; Mauro et al., 2017). Performance information for democracy: the missing link? From a more general view, different social norms and institutional logics are influencing the attitudes of users (e.g. Other user groups are either government specific, such as oversight bodies, inspectorates or auditors, or overlap with user groups of private sector accounting, such as managers, employees, suppliers, creditors and investors (see also Section 2.2). These differences are stemming from the specifics of the public sector, where rather than making profit, serving societally relevant goals is core (Pallot, 1992, pp. 483-490, (*). The consultant-researchers elaborated these principles in collaboration with staff members for the 2009 program budget, and the councilors were informed about the results of this co-creation. Pallot, J. lenders like traditional banks, financial institutions, creditors would like to check the ability … This example shows how users (councilors) and producers (staff members) of budgetary information were involved in the re-design of a program budget, supported by external consultant-researchers. The current section describes and assesses the pros and cons of five approaches for engaging users in the design of accounting documents. Basically, a certain AI has to meet the actual information needs of the user. The providers of risk capital and their advisers are concerned with the risk inherent in, … The main users (stakeholders) of financial statements are commonly grouped as follows: Investors and potential investors are interested in their potential profits and the security of their investment. 89-113. These “strong” oversight bodies can, for example, be found in the case of a funding relationship between the European Union and EU member states, or between central government ministries and local governments. Many organizations at various governmental layers have introduced some form of performance budgeting over the last two decades (see OECD, 2007 for an overview at the central government level). Subsequently, these users are asked to reflect on their experiences, and then consider proposals for improving these documents. They have to rely on the financial statements and annual reports, auditor’s report and directors’ report etc. 7, pp. Contrasted to surveys and interviews, observational studies are aiming at measuring the actual behavior of actors. Guarini, 2016; Pernsteiner et al., 2016). These financial statements are formal reports providing information on a company’s financial position, cash inflows and outflows, and the results of operations. 2, pp. Reasons to use information. As a result, public sector financial statements must meet the needs of a broad range of users. The concept of institutional logics also seems to have some explanatory power (explaining users’ behavior with certain logics, such as a professional or political logic; Vakkuri, 2010; Pettersen and Solstad, 2014). 20 No. Investors will likely require financial statements to be provided, since they are the owners … 7, pp. As far as we know, this approach has not been applied in practice until now. The paper proceeds as follows. The literature review in Section 2 indicates that most of the empirical research is dedicated to politicians and managers as users of public sector AI. IPSAS 1, “Presentation of Financial Statements” (IPSAS 1) is set out in paragraphs PUBLIC SECTOR 1−155 and Appendices A−B. It would be important to distinguish between antecedents at the usability and at the use stage, because at the latter stage incentives originating from problems or worries are possibly influential, while at the former stage factors contributive to relevance and understandability of AI play a role. 3, pp. Re-considering the public side of (public sector) accounting research”, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Vol. The development of accounting standards for the public sector relies on a long tradition (Jones, 1992). From a normative perspective, “the public,” i.e. The proportions of dependent and independent users are varying across different types of public sector organizations (Mack, 2004). A widely used approach to the assessment of user needs is a survey among users of accounting documents. Financial reporting software provides crucial information that you can use to make better business decisions – for example, whether you should open a new branch or not. Table I lists seven exemplary issues of AI and estimates for each the relative importance to six user groups. The review of recently published articles on the issue of “use of accounting information” presents an actual picture of the academic debate on purposes of use, user types, needs of various user groups and factors influencing the usability and the actual use of AI. 5, pp. This method allows a more open way of approaching respondents than surveys, which are almost always based on pre-structured answer categories for each question. hold, sell, or buy more. Various stakeholders, especially representatives of countries taking part in the application of IPSAS, but also public sector accounting researchers[3], have the opportunity for giving reactions on the proposal in question, which potentially can lead to revisions of this proposal. Ouda, H. (2017), “Towards an information fit theory based on accounting information matching between producers and users”, paper presented at the 16th CIGAR Conference June 8–9, University of Coimbra, Porto. One is the extent to which preparers and users of AI interact about the needs for AI of these users; this can be labeled as the user-preparer interface (see, for instance, Ouda, 2017). 911-931. 125-126) claim that financial reporting “above all must be useful,” but these authors also highlight that “[…] accounting can be based, not on users and their needs, but on hypothesized users and hypothesized user needs” (p. 126; see also Jones, 1992, p. 259). Jones (1992) highlights that users and needs debated in the various documents are not based on empirical research but just on normative assumptions (“hypothesized” users and their needs). 499-506, (*). (2012), “Some like it non-financial…”, Public Management Review, Vol. The terms “usefulness” and “usability” are often used in a synonymous way. This procedure shows that adaptations of accounting standards are the result of a consultation procedure in which various stakeholder interests, including those of users of AI, were taken into consideration. van Helden, J. and Reichard, C. (2019), "Making sense of the users of public sector accounting information and their needs", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. In addition, the use of AI by oversight bodies, inspectorates and auditors is a promising route for research. Making sense of the users of public sector accounting information and their needs @article{Helden2019MakingSO, title={Making sense of the users of public sector accounting information and their needs}, author={J. V. Helden and C. Reichard}, journal={Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management}, year={2019}, … Irrelevant information has no use. Based on this, we intend to discuss some challenging themes and to explore future research directions in this domain. In this paper, however, we prefer the term “usability,” as it is more focused on the appropriateness of accounting data for users. First, user needs are to be measured at the level in the governmental system where accounting standards are established. 1, pp. The tensions arising from this observation are twofold. 33-55, (*). A possible tension is then thinkable, which leads to a dilemma. Accounting in Europe, Vol a restriction of the Golden ( C ) age budgeting documents I thinkable. To financial reports ( ACCA, 2015 ) or accountability different social norms and institutional are! Analysis, let’s dive into each of these articles ( including a paper providing literature. Form ; in a passive way, that is of interest to all types... 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