International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online)

The European Process of Accounting Harmonization: Current Status and Future Developments. The Case of Italy
Christian Rainero, Silvana Secinaro, Alessandra Indelicato

Abstract
Purpose – The aim of the research is to examine the accounting systems of the EU Member States in order to assess the feasibility of an accounting harmonization process in the European Union, whose final objective is the preparation of a consolidated financial statement of the European Union, which will be useful in controlling the European public debt and European finance.
In particular, the study will focus on:
 - firstly, the evolution of the accounting practices of Italian state-owned enterprises, following a recent major reform that introduced an accrual accounting system;
 - secondly, the accounting systems of the EU Member States in order to classify them as:
 1) countries that adopt a financial accounting system;
 2) countries that adopt a basic accrual accounting system (“Local GAAP based” accounting systems);
 3) countries that adopt an advanced accrual accounting system (“IPSAS based” accounting system).

Design/methodology/approach – We propose the following approach:
 - presentation of the accounting system of the European Union.
 - presentation of the Italian “public” accounting system and its recent reform.
 - examination of the accounting systems of the EU Member States: current status and evolutionary processes.
 - classification of the EU Member States into groups, depending on the accounting system adopted.
 - identification of costs and benefits of moving to an advanced accrual “IPSAS based” accounting system.
 - assessment of the time spent by the EU Member States to complete the transition to an advanced accrual “IPSAS based” accounting system.
 -- estimation of the time needed to implement an advanced accrual “IPSAS based” accounting system in all the EU Member States.

Originality/value –This methodology will try to highlight the costs and benefits of moving to an advanced “IPSAS based” accounting system and the time it took these countries to accomplish this step. The final goal is estimating the time needed for implementing the “IPSAS based” accounting system in all the EU Member States.

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