The Autonomy of Public Sector Units in the Process of Formulating Accounting Policy – Evidence from Poland

Grzegorz Bucior, Aleksandra Zurawik
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXV, Issue 3, 555-581, 2022
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/3050


Purpose: To examine the autonomy of public sector entity in the development and application of accounting policy, understood as a mandatory element of the accounting system, and the perception of such independence on the part of the persons responsible for accounting in these units. Design/Methodology/Approach: The article adopts a qualitative research approach, in accordance with the case study and survey method. The analysis incorporated data collected during a case study carried out in two Polish budgetary units (basic form of public finance sector units in Poland), the survey was completed by 35 intentionally selected entities. Findings: The authors found that the entities surveyed show independence in the creation and development of accounting policy and practice, however, this independence is significantly limited by the interference of supervisors. At the same time, the survey shows that the persons responsible for accounting in these entities consider it desirable to increase their freedom in accounting policy development. Practical implications: In their opinion, this will provide an opportunity to make the accounting system a tool that is more useful in management. Originality value: Examination of public-entity accounting policy is rare in general, and virtually absent with respect to Polish entities. Thus, this work is a step to fill this research gap. The article contributes to the literature on the subject by exploring the issue.

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