We introduce here a special issue published by Public Money & Management in November 2016 on accounting information use by politicians. The theme originates from the 15th Biennial CIGAR Conference, held in Malta, in 2015. The research under this theme aims to explain the intensity and type of use of accounting information by politicians; that is, whether accounting information is used or not, and whether it is more used for rational rather than political purposes. The collected papers for this special issue seem to indicate that intensity and type of accounting use are dependent upon the interplay of two groups of variables. The first group of variables relates to the context in which accounting information is used. Context can, e.g., regard the level of conflict among politicians in a certain jurisdiction. One of the papers suggests that higher levels of political conflict give rise to more political ways of using accounting information. When the arena is extremely politicized, for example when newly elected politicians take over positions in the Executive from political opponents, accounting data could be manipulated to serve political ideals. The second group of variables regards the individual level of politicians, pointing to characteristics that may either hinder accounting information use, for instance suffering from information overload, or somehow make this use selective, e.g. a focus on information that belongs to the domain of interest of the politicians in question. Some papers also point to the interplay between these variables, that is, between individual circumstances (e.g. politicians in power or in opposition) and context (such as a shift in political power positions, or the extent of complexity of policy fields) for an understanding of politicians’ use of accounting information. The research seems to indicate that politicians are only interested in accounting information under specific circumstances, which circumstances also determine the way they use this information. This makes the link between politicians and accounting information resemble a marriage of convenience. The papers in this special issue suggest that accounting information use by politicians can be enhanced by, inter alia, increasing the required expertise through training; involving brokers to enrich the accounting information; or institutionalizing procedures for scrutiny of budgeting and reporting information. We hope that this PMM issue will inspire further research on the way in which politicians use accounting information in their roles as agenda setters, policy scrutinizers and supervisors of policy execution. We also hope that accountants and consultants preparing accounting information for politicians, take on board the research findings in this special issue for their work.
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|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Titolo:||Editorial: Politicians and accounting information—a marriage of convenience?|
|Autori:||van Helden, Jan; Argento, Daniela; Caperchione, Eugenio; Caruana, Josette|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1080/09540962.2016.1237110|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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