Quotation Polzer, Tobias, Reichard, Christoph. 2020. IPSAS for European Union member states as starting points for EPSAS. International Journal of Public Sector Management. 33 (2/3), 247-264.




The European Commission is pursuing an initiative to establish European Public SectorAccounting Standards (EPSAS) as a common mandatory set of rules for financial reporting of all memberstates of the European Union (EU). As a basis for developing EPSAS, the International Public SectorAccounting Standards (IPSAS) are being used. The purpose of this paper is to structure and analyze thediscussion around EPSAS, with particular emphasis on the arguments that were brought forward bygovernments and other stakeholders of various EU countries regarding the suitability of IPSAS.Drawing on several schools of thought in new institutional theory, howthe prevailing institutional contexts in countries influence the debates is explored. Empirically, this researchinvestigates the responses to a consultation on the suitability of IPSAS for EU member states and takes acloser look, via document analysis, at France and Germany as two critical cases.It is found that, first, the majority of arguments from respondents are framed in a rational choiceway. Second, skeptics of IPSAS tend to make arguments rather from positions closer to historical and/orsociological institutionalism.The paper illustrates that while technical matters around EPSASseem solvable, political, historical and cultural differences go deeper, and need to be addressed by changeagents. Regarding limitations of the research, first, the analysis concentrates on financial reporting and doesnot deal with the implications for more reliable and comparable national accounts in the context of theEuropean System of Accounts (ESA, 2010). Second, it is focused on debates in the context of the EPSASproposal, and there is a need for an evaluation after the changes have gone live. The study looks at a text genre that has so far received less attention in public sectoraccounting research: responses to consultations. The paper contributes to


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Status of publication Published
Affiliation External
Type of publication Journal article
Journal International Journal of Public Sector Management
WU-Journal-Rating new STRAT-C
Language English
Title IPSAS for European Union member states as starting points for EPSAS
Volume 33
Number 2/3
Year 2020
Page from 247
Page to 264
Reviewed? Y
URL https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/IJPSM-12-2018-0276/full/xml
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/ijpsm-12-2018-0276
Open Access N


Polzer, Tobias (Details)
Reichard, Christoph (University of Potsdam, Germany)
Research Institute for Urban Management and Governance FI (Details)
Urban Management and Governance (Meyer) (Details)
Institute for Organization Studies IN (Details)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5000 Social Sciences (Details)
5234 Administrative science (Details)
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