Public Sector Accounting Harmonization in the European Union through the lens of the Garbage Can model Sandra Cohen

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Uploaded by Sandra Cohen     Uploaded date: November 14, 2022    
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Publication date
November 14, 2022
Paper language
Abstract
The public sector accounting harmonization process that started in the European Union in the aftermath of the financial crisis led the European Commission to launch a project for the development of a set of European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS). The paper analyzes the process and the decision making around the EPSAS development through the lens of the garbage can model (Cohen et al., 1972). More specifically, by identifying problems, participants, solutions and choice opportunities, it discusses why the development of the EPSAS is taking so long and why the process does not seem to progress as planned. To this end, all the documents related to the process of EPSAS development are analyzed. The results provide evidence of problematic preferences and fluid participation possibly coupled with flight decisions, three of the elements of the garbage can model. Postponing decisions can be an option to dampen reluctance: the more the public sector gets accustomed to the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) by adopting IPSAS-like accrual accounting standards while waiting for the completion of the EPSAS, the less the resistance to move to accrual accounting standards might be but at the same time a soon after change to a new set of EPSAS standards might become less plausible if changes would ask for an extra reform.
Preferred Citation
Cohen, S., Francesca, M. R., & Brusca, I. (2022). Public sector accounting harmonization in the European Union through the lens of the garbage can model. Financial Accountability & Management, 00, 1– 22. https://doi.org/10.1111/faam.12348
Keywords
EPSAS; harmonization; standard-setting process; garbage can model; international accounting standards
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Category
International Accounting / Accounting Harmonization
Type of Paper
Published paper

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