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30 July 2021
Public sector accounting education—stocktaking, challenges and innovations
This theme will be included in the 2022 CIGAR Annual Issue of Public Money & Management.
Jens Heiling, Ernst & Young GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany
Sotirios Karatzimas, Department of Accounting and Finance, Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece
Susanna Jorge, University of Coimbra, Faculty of Economics, and Research Centre in Political Science (CICP), University of Minho, Portugal
Caroline Aggestam-Pontoppidan, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Accounting education constitutes the fundamental basis of accounting and financial reporting practices and, as such, it is constantly reviewed in a continuous attempt to bridge the gaps between theoretical education and practical application (Jansen, 2018; Wells, 2018). In the public sector, accounting education, especially in terms of financial accrual-based accounting, is a concern, as it becomes evident that there will be a need for highly-educated professionals capable of preparing high-quality and reliable financial information (for example Adam et al., 2019).
Despite this consideration, the vast majority of published research focuses on the private sector/business accounting education, while research on education in the field of public sector/government accounting is quite limited (Stout et al., 2013; Karatzimas et al., 2021).
However, from the early works of the 1950s and 1970s on the topic in leading accounting journals (for example Nelson, 1951; Beights, 1954), public sector accounting education (PSAE) is now receiving increased scholarly attention, with a substantial increase in relevant publications (see, for instance, Adam et al., 2019; Thom, 2019; Heiling, 2020; Karatzimas, 2020). The scarce literature so far highlights that the significance of investing in public sector accounting education by providing relevant courses at various levels of education is supported by its close connection to the need for efficient use of citizens’ funds (Nelson et al., 1951), increased trustworthiness and reliability of public sector disclosures (Henry, 2005), competent and well-prepared public servants (Novin et al., 1997; Campbell et al., 2000), effective public sector reforms (Sciulli & Sims, 2007), and improved citizen participation (Karatzimas, 2020). Undoubtedly, as accrual-based accounting is spreading worldwide, there is a need for highly-educated professionals capable of preparing high-quality and reliable financial information (Adam et al., 2019). The sovereign debt crisis in Europe has further triggered an interest in public sector accounting education (Adam et al., 2019; Lorson et al. 2019; Heiling, 2020), while the Covid-19 crisis has also raised challenges related to both PSA (Padovani & Iacuzzi,2021) and education, consequently affecting PSAE.
The literature to date has mainly focused on PSA curricula and teaching methods (Karatzimas et al., 2021). Indeed, scholarly literature on PSAE assesses the relevant curriculum and shares experiences from the use of various teaching methods, such as case studies (for example Lowensohn & Reck, 2005; Rivenbark, 2007), journal articles (Hoque, 2002), critical thinking (Finley & Waymire, 2013), software (Mallinson, 2018) and games (Murphy, 2005; Elson et al., 2012).
Research on PSAE is rarely published in relevant journals. This call for papers intends to gather high-quality contributions in order to expand the scant research on PSAE.
Topics and issues that papers and articles might address include, but are not limited to:
- The implications of the conversion from cash to accrual accounting on PSAE.
- Consequences of changes in accounting frameworks (for example from national GAAP to international standards) on PSAE.
- The impact of international accounting standards on PSAE.
- The design of study programmes in the area of government accounting/public finance management.
- Effects of PSAE reforms on accounting degrees and on accounting/management schools/faculties/departments.
- Innovative teaching methods applied in PSAE and training.
- Digitalization of PSAE.
- The impact of the Covid-19 crisis on teaching public sector accounting.
PMM publishes main papers; 2,500-word new development articles; and 1,000-word debate articles. For this theme, main papers should not exceed 6,000 words. All papers are blind refereed by two reviewers: one generally a practitioner and the other an academic. Papers and articles submitted to PMM for review must not be under consideration by any other publication.
Papers should be submitted for consideration by the Guest Editors by 30 July 2021 using this link:
Please choose ‘CIGAR ANNUAL PMM ISSUE: Public Sector Accounting Education’.
For any questions on the theme, please do not hesitate to contact the guest editors: Jens Heiling ([email protected]), Sotirios Karatzimas ([email protected]), Susana Jorge ([email protected]) or Caroline Aggestam Pontoppidan ([email protected]).
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