Quotation Polzer, Tobias, Grossi, Giuseppe, Reichard, Christoph. 2022. Implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards in Europe. Variations on a Global Theme. Accounting Forum. 46 (1), 57-82.




As part of introducing accrual accounting in the public sector, many governments have – voluntarily – implemented the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) for financial reporting. Amongst other claimed benefits, IPSAS have been argued to facilitate comparison of adopters’ financial reports and to lead to favourable conditions on credit markets. However, governments that are confronted with the implementation decision face a trade-off between unaltered adoption, partial adoption, adaptation and non-adoption of standards. Drawing on insights from the literature on standardization and practice variation, this paper analyses the reasons, expressed by various actors from nine European countries, for deviating from implementing unaltered IPSAS and proposes a taxonomy of these reasons. The results show that, first, substantial deviations exist, and second, there is a plethora of reasons for them. These deviations are presented and then structured in the further course of the paper. As a consequence of deviations, achieving comparability as the central aim of standardization runs the risk of being undermined.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Accounting Forum
Citation Index SSCI
WU-Journal-Rating new FIN-A, STRAT-C, WH-B
Language English
Title Implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards in Europe. Variations on a Global Theme
Volume 46
Number 1
Year 2022
Page from 57
Page to 82
Reviewed? Y
URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01559982.2021.1920277
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/01559982.2021.1920277
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01559982.2021.1920277


Polzer, Tobias (Details)
Reichard, Christoph (Former researcher)
Grossi, Giuseppe (Nord University Bodø, Norway)
Research Institute for Urban Management and Governance FI (Details)
Urban Management and Governance (Meyer) (Details)
Institute for Organization Studies IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5000 Social Sciences (Details)
5234 Administrative science (Details)
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