Purpose: Considering the increased financial responsibility of local government (LG), the impact of global crises and the growing adoption of accrual accounting and common standards such as IPSAS, this work focuses on financial indicators for LGs. It explores whether the literature on financial indicators has grown, investigates whether there is any consensus on which indicators to use for assessing LG's financial condition, develops a critical reading of the literature and offers suggestions for future research and policy agendas. Design/methodology/approach: A structured literature review was carried out for publications in English about LG financial indicators. Findings: Results reveal that the number of publications dealing with financial indicators has increased over the past ten years. However, rather than focusing on a set of common indicators, the literature reports a plethora of different ones used for four main purposes: transparency and accountability compliance, performance monitoring and benchmarking, assessing LG's financial health and helping deal with exogenous crises. There is no evidence of convergence towards a common set of indicators, even though liquidity and solvency are the most popular dimensions explored by scholars. Research limitations/implications: Findings highlight the challenges in converging on financial indicators, yet no claim can be made beyond the reviewed material. Practical implications: Results provide legislators, public managers, investors and rating agencies with insights about trends in financial indicators, their benefits and limitations. Originality/value: The article focuses on a less popular aspect of recent financial management reforms for local administration, that is the growing fragmentation in LG indicators, accentuated by the need for common assessment tools during unprecedented widespread crises across countries and sectors.

An appraisal of financial indicators for local government: a structured literature review

Iacuzzi S.
Primo
2022

Abstract

Purpose: Considering the increased financial responsibility of local government (LG), the impact of global crises and the growing adoption of accrual accounting and common standards such as IPSAS, this work focuses on financial indicators for LGs. It explores whether the literature on financial indicators has grown, investigates whether there is any consensus on which indicators to use for assessing LG's financial condition, develops a critical reading of the literature and offers suggestions for future research and policy agendas. Design/methodology/approach: A structured literature review was carried out for publications in English about LG financial indicators. Findings: Results reveal that the number of publications dealing with financial indicators has increased over the past ten years. However, rather than focusing on a set of common indicators, the literature reports a plethora of different ones used for four main purposes: transparency and accountability compliance, performance monitoring and benchmarking, assessing LG's financial health and helping deal with exogenous crises. There is no evidence of convergence towards a common set of indicators, even though liquidity and solvency are the most popular dimensions explored by scholars. Research limitations/implications: Findings highlight the challenges in converging on financial indicators, yet no claim can be made beyond the reviewed material. Practical implications: Results provide legislators, public managers, investors and rating agencies with insights about trends in financial indicators, their benefits and limitations. Originality/value: The article focuses on a less popular aspect of recent financial management reforms for local administration, that is the growing fragmentation in LG indicators, accentuated by the need for common assessment tools during unprecedented widespread crises across countries and sectors.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1213958
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