Accounting Reform and IPSAS Adoption in Greece
Purpose: The study aims to investigate the level of acceptance and preparation of the Local Administration Organizations regarding the adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) in Greece. Design/Methodology/Approach: In order to accomplish this purpose a survey was realized by addressing a questionnaire to officers and employees of the finance department of 325 municipalities in Greece and to the elected representatives who are responsible for their financial management and reporting. Findings: The results from 58 municipalities that participated in the research show that even though the officers and employees of the finance department of municipalities are not familiar with IPSAS, there is a wide acceptance of the need to implement them. It was also concluded that municipalities in Greece are not prepared for the accounting change and the adoption of IPSAS. Overall, Greece appears to be at a premature stage with delays observed in the implementation of existing enacted reforms. Practical Implications: The study provides useful insights on IPSAS implementation process for all the parties engaged in public administration reform such as regulators, standard setters, institutional organizations as well as to countries that are in process or planning to adopt IPSAS. Originality/value: To the knowledge of the authors this is the first study that has examined in depth the perceptions and attitudes of Local Administration Organizations in Greece regarding IPSAS adoption.