Beware the reformers: a Machiavellian view of the accounting profession and public sector reform in Australia

Chau, Ching, Cooper, Kathie, & Irvine, Helen J. (2007) Beware the reformers: a Machiavellian view of the accounting profession and public sector reform in Australia. In Asia Pacific Interdisciplinary perspectives on Accounting Conference (APIRA), 8 - 10 July 2007, Auckland, New Zealand. (Unpublished)

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During the last two decades of New Public Management (NPM), reformist governments have transformed the principle underlying Australia’s government accountability from compliance to performance evaluation. This change has been instituted in three phases, against a backdrop of uncertainty, complexity, and the diverse interests of pressure groups. A Machiavellian interpretation of reform, focusing on resistance and power, proposes that the development of public sector accounting in Australia has been highly politicized and characterized by power battles between the accounting profession and government departments. This is illustrated by analyzing the process by which a policy for the valuation of public sector assets in Australia was developed. The result is that control over accounting standard setting has been wrested from the accounting profession by the government, using the adoption of international financial reporting standards as a catalyst for change, at the expense of professional and governmental accountability.

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ID Code: 13060
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional Information: The contents of this conference can be freely accessed online via the conference's web page (see hypertext link).
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Public sector, Accounting standard setting, Valuation of assets, Machiavelli
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100) > Financial Accounting (150103)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 19 Mar 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 13:42

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