Infrastructure reporting by New Zealand local authorities – perceptions and expectations
Chatterfee, B, Mir, MZ, Eddie, IA & Wise, V 2017, 'Infrastructure reporting by New Zealand local authorities – perceptions and expectations', Accounting Research Journal, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 36-57.
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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify the contextual factors affecting infrastructure reporting by New Zealand local authorities. Design/methodology/approach: The paper includes a survey and interview of Annual Report Recipients (ARRs) and Infrastructure Information Preparers (IIPs), together with an assessment of the extent of infrastructure information disclosure in the annual reports of New Zealand local authorities. Findings: This study finds that contrary to the expectations of Lüder’s contingency model (1992), there is an information dissemination gap between the perceptions of ARRs and IIPs regarding infrastructure information reporting in the annual reports of New Zealand local authorities. This finding is consistent with decades of concern about the application of private sector Generally Accepted Accounting Principles to the public sector and the Controller and Auditor General’s (CAG, 2009) concern about the inadequacy of private sector General Purpose Financial Reports in meeting public sector accountability. On the other hand, the study reports that the perceptions of the two groups, ARRs and IIPs, are similar with regard to the importance of infrastructure information items, which is consistent with the expectations of Lüder’s model. Originality/value: The paper contributes towards theoretical development by adopting Lüder’s (1992)contingency model in the context of infrastructure reporting by New Zealand local authorities and proposing a model of contextual factors by extending Lüder’s model. The practical contribution of the study is in the area of accounting practice and public policy.