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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to knowledge about Russian public sector accounting in times of change by exploring the emergence of a new way of accounting for Russian central government. Design/methodology/approach – In this paper, accounting is viewed as a social and institutional practice. A frame of reference guided by three theoretical perspectives is elaborated on. This troika incorporates a system approach to accounting, an accountability approach, and an institutional approach. Document search represents the major method of collecting data for this paper. Findings – This paper suggests that launching a nascent version of Russian central government accounting is better comprehended in terms of legitimacy rather than in terms of instrumentality. Research limitations/implications – This paper focuses on the appearance of up‐to‐date accounting provisions at macro‐level and does, therefore, have limitations with regard to scope. This makes it intellectually rewarding to link the central government initiatives with endeavours to implement them at different levels of government and in specific public sector organizations. Originality/value – Bearing in mind, the lack of consistent research efforts on the topic in Western English‐language literature, this paper strives to bring rather “alien” Russian central government accounting into the international arena for the purposes of cross‐national comparisons and wide‐ranging discussions. It also contributes to the literature dealing with the role of international organizations in the reform of public sector accounting.
Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 30, 2009
Keywords: Central government; Accounting; Public sector accounting; Public sector reform; Russia
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