Title: Adopting IPSAS to improve governmental accountability in Spain: an empirical study

Authors: Andrés Navarro Galera; Manuel Pedro Rodríguez Bolívar

Addresses: Department of Accounting and Finance, Faculty of Economics and Business Sciences, University of Granada, c/ Campus Universitario de Cartuja s/n, Post Code 18071, Granada, Spain ' Department of Accounting and Finance, Faculty of Economics and Business Sciences, University of Granada, c/ Campus Universitario de Cartuja s/n, Post Code 18071, Granada, Spain

Abstract: In Spain, a new General Public Accounting Plan has been approved adapting Spanish accounting criteria to the IPSAS issued by the IFAC, which could strengthen the quality of governmental financial information and favour accountability via enhanced financial transparency, the benchmarking analysis and the efficiency of public services. A major issue when endorsing IPSAS is the measurement bases used in accounting. Regardless of problems of reliability, the fair value (FV) accounting proposed by the IPSAS aims to favour the understanding, efficiency assessments, timeliness of financial reports and to improve benchmarking analysis. This paper examines whether FV would improve the accountability of public administrations in Spain and thus favour the transparency of financial statements. Based on an empirical research on the Spanish central supreme audit institution (SAI) and on 11 regional SAIs, findings indicate that the adoption of FV could favour transparency and accountability in Spain, although it would depend on several factors such as the information included in the notes, the staff training in valuation methods, the hiring of external appraisers and the existence of generally accepted methods of estimation.

Keywords: IPSAS; governmental accountability; fair value accounting; supreme audit institutions; SAIs; Spain; financial transparency; benchmarking; public service efficiency; financial reporting; public administration; public sector.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2012.051465

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2012 Vol.4 No.5/6, pp.572 - 607

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 18 Jan 2013 *

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