A taxonomy of the perceived benefits of accrual accounting and budgeting: Evidence from German states

T. Jagalla, S. D. BECKER, J. Weber

Financial Accountability & Management

May 2011, vol. 27, n°2, pp.134-165

Departments: Accounting & Management Control, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Accrual Output-Based Budgeting, Accrual accounting, Budgeting, Benefits, Taxonomy, Germany

Accrual Output-Based Budgeting (AOBB) in government has been disputed intensely among academics and practitioners. While normative, conceptual, or theory-based literature made promising claims about which benefits can be expected from reforming government accounting and budgeting, recent empirical research finds that at least some of these expectations have been massively overstated. The observed gap between promises and reality poses the question for the true benefits anew. Basing our analysis on practitioners' judgment, we suggest a general and prioritized landscape of perceived benefits (taxonomy). Our findings are derived from 42 interviews conducted in the context of two German federal states. Mapping our results to prior claims in the literature, we reveal that the practitioners interviewed do not see upsides in areas that former research deems to be important while other and previously not emphasized areas, such as mindset changes, seem to convince in practical life. The results of our analysis offer a profound basis for further exploration of the benefits and/or even cost/benefit evaluations. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]