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The embeddedness of digital infrastructures for data collection by the Courts of Accounts

Aquino, André Carlos Busanelli de and Lino, André Feliciano and Azevedo, Ricardo Rocha de (2022) 'The embeddedness of digital infrastructures for data collection by the Courts of Accounts.' Revista Contabilidade & Finanças, 33 (88). pp. 46-62. ISSN 1519-7077

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Abstract

This study aimed to identify the trajectories for data collection automation in various Courts of Accounts (Tribunais de Contas), the standard features of the systems that have emerged, and the impacts on fiscal and accounting oversight in Brazil. Data collection automation is part of the digital transformation in the field of auditing; however, the literature on public sector auditing in Brazil, on digital transformation, or digital infrastructure, does not analyze how this transformation occurs and how the infrastructures are stabilized and shape the field of auditing. Data collection automation has unexpected implications for the content of public sector audits and the financial management of the public sector auditees. Identifying the trajectories for digital tools of data collection automation enables a discussion on whether currently adopted solutions vary and the effects on the standardization of government audits. The automation of data collection by the Court of Accounts, particularly its scope and frequency, affects how the audited public organizations prioritize the adoption and maintenance of accounting, budgeting, and financial planning policies and processes. The digital infrastructures that emerge from these digital tools shape the entire field of auditing, they become embedded, and they increase the cost of future changes, perpetuating the heterogeneity in the auditing and financial management of governments in the Brazilian federation. The article presents a longitudinal case study (1994 to 2020), with narratives built based on questionnaires and interviews with auditors from 26 Courts of Accounts. The automation of budgetary and accounting data collection by Courts of Accounts has changed the logic of the field of government auditing in Brazil. The digital infrastructures that emerge by connecting Courts and the audited public organizations under their jurisdictions have embedded concepts, definitions, and implicit expectations in a remote auditing logic.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Court of Auditors; public sector auditing; accounting; e-government
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Essex Accounting Centre
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2021 12:32
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2022 16:27
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31145

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