The Adoption of Accrual Accounting in the Indonesian Public Sector

Harun Harun, Peter Robinson

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose-The purpose of this article is to examine the contextual variables that influence the pace of public sector reforms through the adoption of accrual accounting for the Indonesian public sector.

Design/methodology/approach-The study employs a historically informed study based on a modified version of the Luder's (1992) Contingency Model (LCM). The data are drawn from official documents issued by the Indonesian government about reporting system for the public sector in the country and interviews with the key figures involved in the public sector accounting reforms in Indonesia. The study also uses publicly available information addressing the recent progress in the implementation of the accrual accounting system in the Indonesian public sector.

Key findings-The adoption of accrual accounting in the Indonesian public sector was stimulated by the economic crisis, prodemocratic movements, and international pressures for the reform of the public sector. However, the public sector accounting reforms in the country are confronted with significant implementation barriers which include legal issues, the lack of political supports, and skilled human resources. These barriers in turn threaten the intended purposes to be achieved through the greater economic and public sector reforms in the newly democratic Indonesia.

Research limitations/implications-The arguments of the study should be understood in the context of the institutional setting of Indonesia as a developing country. Nonetheless, the findings of this study show an example of the complexity faced through the use of the private sector accounting practice in the public sector context.

Originality/value-The findings of the study support the notion that the nature of legal system, political support, and human resource capacity influence the extent to which an accounting system is adopted in the public sector.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in Accounting in Emerging Economies
EditorsShahzad Uddin, Mathew Tsamenyi
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780857244529
ISBN (Print)9780857244512
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameResearch in Accounting in Emerging Economies
ISSN (Print)1479-3563


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