Assessing the Impact of IPSAS on Financial Reporting and Public Management in Greece

Olympia G. Gkouma, John Filos


The adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) is gaining momentum across the world. Greece initiated a general financial management reform program which includes the transformation of financial accounting. The public sector in Greece adopted IPSAS-based standards (P.D.54/2018) in June 2018. The transition from modified cash accounting to accruals accounting brought the country one step closer to IPSAS. P.D.54/2018 resulted in material adjustments on the state accounts. However, public management was not able to assert full compliance due to lack of necessary accounting records. The objective of this study is to assess the impact of IPSAS on financial reporting and public management in Greece and discuss the anticipated benefits and the challenges to be encountered in the transition process. The results of this study indicate that Greece is at a premature stage regarding IPSAS. Meanwhile, research regarding the implementation of IPSAS in Greece appears to be limited. The adoption of IPSAS is expected to have significant impact on the financial statements of Greece due to the gap between IPSAS accounting principles and current accounting practices. The move towards IPSAS has the potential to radically change the practice of accounting and financial reporting in public sector. Nonetheless, it appears that the implementation of IPSAS has to overcome several challenges in order to be successful and utilise these benefits. The study provides useful insights on the transition to IPSAS for all the parties engaged in public administration reform as well as to countries that are in process or planning to adopt IPSAS.

JEL Classifications: M40, M41, M49


International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), Financial Reporting, Public Management, Public Accounting, Public Sector

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