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Tékhne - Revista de Estudos Politécnicos

versión impresa ISSN 1645-9911

Tékhne  n.10 Barcelos dic. 2008


From Cash To Accruals In Portuguese Local Government Accounting: What Has Truly Changed


Susana Margarida Jorge[1], João Baptista da Costa Carvalho[2], Maria José Fernandes[3],,

(recebido em 19 de Maio de 2008, aceite em 7 de Novembro de 2008)


Sponsored by:

FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia

Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior




Abstract. As many countries, Portugal has been reforming governmental accounting since the beginning of the 1990s. The system in force results from the first law-based governmental accounting general plan passed in 1997, which was adapted to Local Government in 1999. Using doubleentry, the Portuguese Local Government accounting framework currently combines cash-based budgetary accounting with accrual-based financial and cost accountings, providing information for both accountability and decision-making. While recognising considerable innovations, this paper presents some difficulties implementing the reforms, whereas highlighting some limitations still remaining in the Portuguese new local governmental accounting system. It also discusses why, together with other reasons, those shortcomings make budgetary cash-based information still to be given more importance, namely by internal users.

Keywords: local government accounting; cash basis; accrual basis; content analysis



Full text only available in PDF format.

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1 Faculty of Economics – The University of Coimbra, Coimbra- Portugal

2 President of the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave -Barcelos

3 Assistant Professor Management School – The Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave Barcelos – Portugal