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Accountants’ postures under compulsory digital transformation imposed by government oversight authorities

Lino, Andre and Aquino, André Carlos Busanelli de and Neves, Fabrício Ramos (2022) 'Accountants’ postures under compulsory digital transformation imposed by government oversight authorities.' Financial Accountability and Management, 38 (2). pp. 202-222. ISSN 0267-4424

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Abstract

Governments are becoming digital; however, a shift towards digital transformation may not always occur voluntarily. For example, despite their willingness or skills, local government accountants are usually forced to adopt a digital innovation to comply with requirements from top-down public financial management reforms — a typical case of compulsory digital transformation. We observe local government accountants’ attitudes towards compulsory digital transformation and their effects on the comprehensiveness of the digital transformation linked to accounting reforms in place. We empirically analyzed the public financial management oversight function in Brazil, in which digitalization requires local government accountants to report financial information to external authorities via computerized tools. Relying on interviews and an open-ended survey with local government accountants, our findings revealed how Brazilian government accountants deal with compulsory digital transformation in the context of task overload. Most of the accountants present a resigned posture in which they opt to comply with the oversight authorities’ deadlines at the expense of reductions in the reported data’s accuracy. However, other accountants assume a visionary posture by adopting a transformative attitude and turning the mandatory digital transformation to their advantage to favor a broader reformist agenda. The implications of such a scenario are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: digital transformation; digitalization; mandatory adoption; top-down adoption; local governments
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: 26 Nov 2021 11:04
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2022 11:33
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31683

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