Title: IPSAS adoption by the World Food Programme: an application of the contingency model to intergovernmental organisations

Authors: Daniele Alesani; Gwenda Jensen; Ileana Steccolini

Addresses: Bocconi University, Via Bocconi 8, 20136, Milan, Italy. ' International Federation of Accountants, 277 Wellington Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ' Public Management and Policy Department, SDA Bocconi School of Management, Bocconi University, Via Bocconi 8, 20136, Milan, Italy

Abstract: This paper intends to contribute to the body of literature that explores the drivers and reasons for public sector organisations' accounting reforms. In 2009, the World Food Programme (WFP) became the first United Nations system organisation to successfully implement International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and full accruals accounting. This paper reviews the applicability of the contingency model (Lueder, 1992) and its subsequent version (Financial Management Reform model; Lueder, 2002) to intergovernmental organisations such as those making up the United Nations system. The WFP's case is presented through the conceptual lens of the contingency framework and the case study findings are then used to further develop the contingency model for application to accounting reforms in intergovernmental organisations.

Keywords: accrual accounting; International Public Sector Accounting Standards; IPSAS; public sector organisations; accounting reforms; intergovernmental organisations; IGOs; United Nations; World Food Programme; WFP; contingency theory; financial management reform.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPSPM.2012.048744

International Journal of Public Sector Performance Management, 2012 Vol.2 No.1, pp.61 - 80

Published online: 15 Nov 2014 *

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