Consolidation principles and practices for the UK government sector

D. Heald, George Georgiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Government accounting reform has in certain industrialised countries become a recognisable component of market-oriented New Public Management reforms. A key dimension is the conversion of accounting from the traditional cash basis to accruals, usually anchored in GAAP as developed for that country's private sector. Taking the UK proposals for Resource Accounting and Budgeting, this paper shows that issues concerning consolidation are proving both important and troublesome. After reviewing private sector experience with consolidation, the structure of UK central government is carefully mapped. The limited area for consolidation proposed by the UK Treasury as the basis for constructing Departmental Resource Accounts is criticised. Attention is paid to the complex structure of public service delivery, with much of that now done by quasi-public organisations outside both the proposed departmental boundary and the national accounts aggregate of general government. This paper does not examine the related topic of Whole-of-Government Accounts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-167
Number of pages15
JournalAccounting and Business Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2000


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