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If your entity’s Public sector accounting and the post-NPM: out of the Golden (C) age? Christensen, M., Greiling, D. and Christiaens, J. 28 No. 483-490, (*). At first, information needs and interest in AI matter, for instance, availability of AI for various decisions. Second, accounting literacy and familiarity with AI are influential (ACCA, 2015; Andriani et al., 2010; Ezzamel et al., 2005). 31 No. (2016), “Contextualizing politicians’ uses of accounting information: accounting as reassuring and ammunition machine”, Public Money & Management, Vol. Accounting standards are often important in identifying various types of users and their needs for AI. Buylen and Christiaens (2016), for example, investigated how councilors are using AI in their speeches at the annual budgetary debates in Flemish municipalities. We will illustrate this claim by an elaborated proposal that can serve as an inspiration for future research. However, there also may be manipulation risks related to such supporters (Jorge et al., 2016). Although it is valuable to get an in-depth understanding of both sides of the market for AI (i.e. 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). 1-12. ter Bogt, H.J. 38-59. 88 No. In contrast, the actual use of AI by different user groups is mostly assessed as low or moderate (Buylen and Christiaens, 2016; Ezzamel et al., 2005; Yamamoto, 2008). Two major purposes are frequently mentioned: rendering accountability to various stakeholders and supporting decision making. The level of perceived usability of AI is depending on several supply factors, e.g. Assumed accounting knowledge is more disputable for purely financial information items, especially when they originate from accrual accounting, than for non-financial information. Investors will likely require financial statements to be provided, since they are the owners … Here the user of AI is addressed in a passive way, that is, his/her needs are just registered. Visit emeraldpublishing.com/platformupdate to discover the latest news and updates, Answers to the most commonly asked questions here, References marked with * belong to the literature review in Section 2 of the paper. Young (2006) shows that private standard-setting bodies were not interested in the actual needs for AI of various groups of users. AI can, for instance, be presented in a budget or similar planning documents. There are so many people using the accounting information for so many diverse purposes, thus, the purpose of financial statements is to cater for the needs of the users that could lead them to make better financial decisions. Observational studies in particular could investigate to what types of actions budgets or financial reports may lead, including finding support for either abolishing or initiating alternatives for the proposed policy making. (1999), “Public and private sector accounting – the non-identical twins”, Australian Accounting Review, Vol. In a similar vein, accounting standards established by IPSAS can be applied in individual countries at different levels of the governmental system. Hence, our focus lies on the first and third group, and especially the first group is, due to its lack of accounting expertise, crucial and may also be problematic in assessing its accounting needs. Creditors and investors, often seen as the main users of private sector financial reports, are likely to belong to either the second or the third group. 515-520, (*). Whilst private sector financial reports have to serve predominantly the needs of the economic-rational user, public sector financial reports need to ensure at least a minimum level of information that is relevant, or ought to be relevant to all users. Third, a hybrid group in-between the above groups: members of the executive or managers with some accounting expertise are belonging to this group, and probably also some media representatives as intermediaries between the public sector organization and the citizens. IMF Working Paper No. 113-129. 19 No. Users of accounting information are either internal or external to the organization. Public companies are generally much larger (in terms of annual sales and total assets) than private companies, as you would expect. (1992), “Elements of a theoretical framework for public sector accounting”, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Vol. 12 No. The importance of such matters is intensified given the recent global In addition, we are largely disregarding a discussion of the possible consequences of the use or non-use of accounting information, for example, directly by avoiding interference of oversight bodies, and indirectly through impacts on reputation, performance evaluation and public relations. Public sector user groups of AI are partly different from those in the private sector. The councilors ultimately showed their appreciation of the renewed budgetary information in a survey, although their actual use of the renewed budget remained limited during the annual budgetary debates. A user need can be defined as a desirable characteristic of information included in an accounting document, as expressed by the potential users of this document. However, this does not exclude that in other countries budget regulations are very strict, especially when central government wishes to constrain opportunities for fiscal policy-making at the local government level. Some articles present quite detailed lists of specific use purposes of AI, e.g. The starting point of our selection of articles is papers published in a special issue of Public Money and Management in 2016 (Vol. From a formal point of view, a distinction among “recipients” and “users” may be appropriate, where the former are the addressees of certain AI but not necessarily also “using” such information for certain purposes (Mack and Ryan, 2006). Giacomini, D., Sicilia, M. and Steccolini, I. 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. From a methodological point, so far mostly surveys and interviews have been used to study user needs and use intensities. From a more general view, different social norms and institutional logics are influencing the attitudes of users (e.g. There is poor evidence about the specifics of different formats and documents providing AI: while there is some evidence about the usability and use of for instance general purpose financial statements or budgets, we do not know much about the usability features of, e.g., mid-year reports, whole-of-government reports or various other specific formats of the provision of AI (including for instance the role of informal talks of users with experts or of variants of narratives). 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