Local government accounting in Portugal in comparative-international perspective
Local government accounting in Portugal has been through a radical transformation since 1999. As additions to the traditional cash-based budgetary accounting, the system now includes accrual-based financial accounting and reporting, as well as cost accounting. The keystone for the changes was the Chart of Accounts for Local Government, issued in 1999 as a consequence of a wider reform process (comprising administrative, financial management and accounting issues) started in 1990 for the whole Portuguese Public Administration. This thesis describes how the Portuguese local government accounting system currently works, specifically addressing budgetary, financial and cost accounting techniques. Using Lüder’s Financial Management Reform Process Model, it also explains the current innovations in the Portuguese governmental accounting, and presents the context within which the reforms have been taking place. The same framework is used to predict the conduciveness to future developments, providing some insights into the probability of further reforms. Finally, it offers an inductive theory of Portuguese local government accounting in comparative-international perspective, in comparison with the United Kingdom. In the process, this shows that, despite the similarities in the form and content of the reports produced, differences still remain as to their aims and purposes.