The study aims at verifying the extent of the introduction of accrual accounting in the smaller municipalities of the province of Lecce. The vibrant management debate and the legislative requirements, both prompting the diffusion of accrual accounting in public organizations at any governmental level, are not actually reflected by the development of accounting system. The analysis of smalls municipalities accounting practices shows the central role of budgetary accounting, whose use in legitimated by law. On the contrary, accrual accounting which is diffused in smaller local government plays a marginal role. The reasons are to be found in the lack of human and financial resources, and in a misconception of the usefulness, for small local government, of the accrual tool.
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