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Journal articles (2010), Financial Accountability and Management, 26 (3), pp. 246-266

Using Ideas to Advance Professions: Public Sector Accrual Accounting

CHRISTENSEN Mark , Parker Lee

This study investigates a contest of ideas that took place between public sector accrual accounting (PSAA) and Government Finance Statistics (GFS) in the Australian state of New South Wales. The debate, its context and its course is historically analysed from a neo‐institutional theory perspective, employing both documentary and oral history sources. Important in PSAA's win over GFS were: phantom images of PSAA success; a dominant politician; discourse control directing attention to the balance sheet; and, normative isomorphism from professionally qualified public sector accountants. Understanding public sector accounting change requires analysis beyond technical change; in this case the actors and their motives overwhelmed the technical. Link to the article

CHRISTENSEN, M. and PARKER, L. (2010). Using Ideas to Advance Professions: Public Sector Accrual Accounting. Financial Accountability and Management, 26(3), pp. 246-266.