AbstractThis monograph together with its associated publications is concerned with attempting to identify why municipal corporations developed the accounting methods that they used over the period under review. It questions the statement by Jones (1992, 42) that local authorities in general adopted the accounting techniques that they did because of statutory obligations by an examination of the causes of accounting change in municipal corporations. These authorities are seen by this paper and its associated published works as the drivers of accounting change for the system of local government financial reporting. The analysis underpinning this conclusion is done within the context of a model based on the concept of 'actives' and 'passives' in the process of accounting change. The 'actives' represents the driving force behind innovations in accounting practice while the 'passives' are the outcomes of the pressures for change.
The 'actives' are sub-divided into motivators, facilitators and catalysts for change. Following an initial introduction and the justification of the choice of municipal corporations as the driver of accounting change in the local government sector the text develops the model of 'actives' and 'passives' and identifies key changes in accounting practice. The overview then examines in detail the factors which caused accounting changes to take place within the context of the model developed by its application to six lead authorities which were the detailed subject of this study. The research examines, in depth, for the first time, inter alia, the contribution of the elected member, the finance officer, the professional accounting bodies, the audit and the press to the development of accounting techniques and practices by municipal corporations. Finally it draws appropriate conclusions from the evidence presented in both this overview and the published works as to why municipal corporations and local authorities in general developed the accounting practices they did.
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