Online from: 2005
Subject Area: Accounting and Finance
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|Title:||Thai public universities: modernisation of accounting practices|
|Author(s):||Phetphrairin Upping, (Sakon Nakhon Campus, Rajamangala University of Technology Isan, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand), Judy Oliver, (Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia)|
|Citation:||Phetphrairin Upping, Judy Oliver, (2012) "Thai public universities: modernisation of accounting practices", Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Vol. 8 Iss: 3, pp.403 - 430|
|Keywords:||Accounting change, Developing countries, Higher education, Public sector, Thailand, Universities|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/18325911211258362 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the transition of the accounting systems from cash based to accrual based, in Thai public universities. The focus is on the factors both influencing and affecting the accounting change.
Design/methodology/approach – This study takes a quantitative approach with data collected through a mail survey to the Chief Financial Officer of each of the 78 Thai public universities. Statistical analysis included both descriptive analysis and ANOVA to analyse differences between universities.
Findings – The main catalysts for change have come from both external and internal sources. The Thai government requires public agencies to adapt their accounting practices in line with New Public Management (NPM) and university management need improved information for planning and control purposes. The most important change has been to the financial accounting system with the adoption of computerised accrual accounting practices. The major factor influencing the change process is low institutional capacity of some Thai universities which is evidenced by the lack of technological resources and staff with knowledge of private sector accounting practices. Universities that either have or intend to become autonomous have given more importance to accounting system changes; and universities that have achieved more success in the change process note the importance of external consultants, and staff having an understanding and knowledge of data requirements.
Practical implications – This paper adds to the literature on accounting change in the public sector in less developed countries by highlighting factors influencing accounting change and factors that can be barriers to and facilitators of change. The findings provide further evidence of the issues confronted by public agencies in developing countries adopting new accounting practices and highlights the importance of training of local staff before the change process commences. Training is critical for knowledge transfer to enable staff to gain the knowledge and skills needed to assist in the change of accounting practices.
Originality/value – This paper presents a contribution to the government accounting change literature by highlighting public sector agencies in a developing country, Thailand. In both developed and developing countries, public universities are now operating in an environment of decreased government funding coupled with university management taking more responsibility for financial management. This study provides an insight into the changes taking place in Thai public universities in relation to the accounting system to support this new operating environment.
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