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INDICE

Management Control

3/2017

Sommario

Context matters. Il ruolo del contesto negli studi di controllo di gestione

Marco Gatti, Maria Serena Chiucchi

pag. 5
Pratiche di controllo di gestione nel contesto sanitario italiano: i cambiamenti in atto nel Sistema Sociosanitario Lombardo

Gaia Bassani, Cristiana Cattaneo

» 11
 
The clinical risk management. A case study

Antonio Fusco, Grazia Dicuonzo, Vittorio Dell’Atti, Nii Amoo

» 31
 
Exploring the use of Social and Environmental Performance Indicators by European companies

Irene Eleonora Lisi, Antonella Cifalinò

» 53
La comunicazione al mercato delle performance economico-finanziarie: il ruolo del controllo di gestione

Luciano Marchi, Sara Trucco

» 55
 
La Network Governance a support dell’Open Innovation: un’analisi della letteratura

Palmira Piedepalumbo, Concetta Metallo, Daniela Mancini

» 79
 
Il ruolo dei manager universitari in un’ottica di performance integrata. Analisi di un caso studio

Franco Rubino, Pina Puntillo, Stefania Veltri

» 95
Intellectual Capital as driver for controlling managers’ performance. An innovative approach

Raffaele Trequattrini, Alessandra Lardo, Benedetta Cuozzo, Myriam Cano Rubio

» 123
Mission della rivista e norme redazionali » 143
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Context matters. Il ruolo del contesto negli studi di controllo di gestione

[Editoriale]

Un elemento di sostanziale continuità ha caratterizzato nel tempo gli studi sui sistemi di controllo di gestione. L’analisi della letteratura specialistica, infatti, rivela che, sebbene si possa riscontrare un’estrema differenziazione di approcci metodologici e di filoni di ricerca, vi è una costante tendenza ad individuare nel ‘contesto’ una variabile rilevante, da analizzare per via delle profonde relazioni esistenti con la progettazione, l’implementazione e l’utilizzo di sistemi di controllo di gestione. Si tratta, però, di un elemento di continuità che non è sintomatico di una sostanziale staticità degli studi. Al contrario, nel tempo la prospettiva di osservazione del contesto è stata oggetto di profondi cambiamenti che hanno ispirato nuovi approcci allo studio dei sistemi di controllo di gestione e del loro concreto funzionamento.

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Pratiche di controllo di gestione nel contesto sanitario italia-no: i cambiamenti in atto nel Sistema Sociosanitario Lombardo

Management accounting e control practices in Italian healthcare system. The case of Lombardy region

In recent decades, reforms in the public sector place new demand on the management and control practices. Focusing on healthcare there are few investigations that analyse the context related to the design of such practices in a holistic sense. Thus, the aim of the paper is the comprehension of how management accounting and control practices change, even in their nature, as the result of reforms, specifically the introduction of L.R. 23/2015 related to the renew Lombardy Health System. A conceptual model inspired by the middle range thinking guides the analysis of the legislation, notes of interviews, conferences and informal meetings with practitioners. Nine months later the introduction of reform, regulations and the perception of involved practitioners seems oriented towards the design of management accounting and control practices with communicative nature.

Keywords: Health sector, management accounting, middle range, Performance Management Systems.

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The clinical risk management. A case study

The continuous increase in healthcare costs as regards GDP and the public expenditure reflects, on the one side, the growth of health demand due to the change in the global epidemiological landscape and, on the other side, a progressive rise in health costs, significantly influencing the sustainability of the world health system. The legislative measures adopted by many countries, primarily aiming at containing the public expenditure, have drawn the attention of academics and practitioners.

The interest is focused on risk management because nowadays this process is considered necessary in healthcare public companies. The reason is that it allows, on the one hand, to reduce waste and, consequently, costs, and, on the other hand, to improve the results and the assistance quality offered. In this context, the aim of the study is twofold: i) to examine the clinical risk management in healthcare organizations; ii) to verify, through a case study, in which way the adoption of innovative managerial models, such as the lean management, can improve performance and reduce the clinical risks caused by adverse events; this, to improve the clinical risk management. For this purpose, we analyze the lean management model implemented in “Morgagni Pierantoni Hospital Unit” of Forlì. The results show a positive impact of lean management model on clinical processes in terms of improvement of performance and higher security of assistance services.

Keywords: clinical risk management, lean management, health care organization, clinical processes, clinical risk, case study.

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Exploring the use of Social and Environmental Performance Indicators by European companies

This study explores the use of Social and Environmental Performance Indicators (SEPIs) by European companies, starting from the premise that little is known about how companies internally plan, implement, and monitor their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. More specifically, given the increasing critiques raised against companies’ CSR practices and the related CSR-washing debate, this study investigates the extent to which firms use SEPIs by distinguishing between internal (i.e., decision-making and control) and external (i.e., disclosure) types of use. It also examines the organizational factors associated with such different uses (namely, size, industry, and compliance to social or environmental certification standards). Empirically, the study is based on a survey conducted across a sample of 129 European firms. This work contributes to the social and environmental accounting literature by collecting and analyzing large-scale empirical evidence that provides a better understanding of the relationships between external and internal uses of indicators, as well as of the influence of firm characteristics on such uses, across both the social and the environmental dimension of the CSR domain.

Keywords: social and environmental performance indicators, control, decision-making, external disclosure, CSR-washing.

MC2017.3_4_LISI_Article

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La comunicazione al mercato delle performance economico-finanziarie: il ruolo del controllo di gestione

The emerging role of Management Control to the evolution of Financial Reporting

The general framework of this paper is the evolution of financial and non-financial reporting along with internal and external conditions of companies, which explain this evolutionary path.

Starting from this framework, the objective of this study is to analyze whether Management Control could be included among the internal conditions that lead to changes in the financial and non-financial reporting.

The methodological approach is based on both deductive and inductive logic. Thus, the answer to the research question is provided by the analysis of the literature and is strengthened by a case study.

Keywords: Management Control, Financial Reporting, Business Culture, Financial Performance, Non-Financial Performance.

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La Network Governance a supporto dell’Open Innovation: un’analisi della letteratura

Network governance and Open Innovation. A literature review

This study aims at investigate the state of the art of network governance studies in relation to a specific context, that is research and development (R & D) and open innovation. The research was conducted through a literature review over the period 2007-2017. The obtained results outline a descriptive picture of the main trends in the field of governance in open innovation networks, highlighting the concentration of studies in some research centers and journals, and therefore a need for research that deepens the Governance as a key factor in open innovation processes.

Keywords: network governance, open innovation, literature review.

MC2017.3_7_PIEDEPALUMBO_Allegato 1

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Il ruolo dei manager universitari in un’ottica di performance integrata. Analisi di un caso studio

The role of university managers under an integrated performance approach. A case study

Universities are, and this is even truer in Italy, peculiar public administrations, characterized by common elements to other public administrations (PAs) but also by distinctive features. In universities, professionals are the main producers of core services, while an administration works in support of these core functions. In time evaluation focused on teaching and research activities and thus on the academic component of the university, leaving aside the administrative one. Nevertheless, worldwide has increased the relevance of professional management within universities, due to the key role played by it in determining the university. Moreover, the guidelines issued in Italy in 2015 by the National agency for Evaluation of the University System and Research (ANVUR) highlight that all the universities’ activities are affected by the administrative activity and that there is a need to view university performance in a more holistic manner (integrated performance), in which the general objectives of the universities should be linked to the objectives of the professional management. In this context, the main research aim of the paper is to analyze the contribution offered by university managers to the achievement of the university performance by investigating the actual management control systems within universities to verify the degree of linkages of university managers’ objectives with university’s objectives and whether university managers are provided with incentives when university objectives are achieved. The paper addresses the main research question  using a case study methodology applied to the University of Calabria.

Keywords: universities, integrated performance, performance management, evaluation, university managers.

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Intellectual Capital as driver for controlling managers’ performance. An innovative approach

The purpose of the paper is to analyse how Intellectual Capital (IC) of contemporary companies can be used as management control tool, by proposing it as a driver for sport and financial performance from a value creation perspective. Through a quantitative method with an empirical application, the research investigates the football industry. The IC of professional football clubs has been identified in three components: the first team players, the brand and the right of qualification for the competition on sporting merit. The outcomes of the new model based on IC enhancement allow defining a new use of it as management control tool and a driver for clubs’ managers, overcoming the traditional models of traditional objective functions, which do not consider the managers’ role. Furthermore, the new objective function, defined by the research, allows managers to make strategic decisions finalized to achieve clubs success in compliance with ownership aims. Therefore, this study provides a control tool and a driver for managers’ performance that can be used by company ownership.

Keywords: Intellectual capital, management control tool, evaluation tools, football clubs, manager, value creation.

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Indice – Management Control – n° 2/2017

Management Control

2/2017

Sommario

Controllo della performance nelle aziende dei servizi: contributi e tendenze

Selena Aureli, Claudio Travaglini

pag. 5
Rilevazione del gap tra DRG price e internal cost: implicazioni di case-mix accounting

Cristiana Cattaneo, Gaia Bassani

» 13
 
Performance economiche e ambientali nelle aziende italiane di igiene urbana: prime evidenze empiriche

Francesca Bartolacci, Antonella Paolini, Anna Grazia Quaranta, Michela Soverchia

» 33
 
Managerial accounting and charity in hospitality enterprises

Maria-Gabriella Baldarelli

» 53
Misure di performance innovative e modelli di business: il caso delle aziende aeroportuali italiane

Vincenzo Fasone, Mariano Puglisi

» 71
 
Applying business analytics for performance measurement and management. The case study of a software company

Franco Visani

 

»

89
 
Caratteristiche dell’Audit Committee e Gestione del Rischio Bancario: un’analisi empirica del contesto europeo

Davide Rizzotti, Claudia Frisenna

» 125

 

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Controllo della performance nelle aziende dei servizi: contributi e tendenze

Performance evaluation in service companies. Contributions and trends

This issue of Management Control focuses on the so-called service sector or tertiary sector, which represents the most important component of every country’s economy. Since this sector covers a wide variety of activities, this issue gathers contributions on performance measurement systems and metrics used in different types of service businesses, such as transport companies, restaurants, public utilities, financial institutions, software companies and organizations delivering healthcare services.

Reasons for a thematic issue on performance evaluation in service companies are: the speed at which modern countries have made the transition to service-based economies, the emergence of new Internet-based services and ways of using services due to the spread of ICTs and the demand for new management control systems or metrics capable to respect services’ characteristics and their trends of change like the increasing involvement of costumers in service production.

Selected contributions coherently highlight the need to integrate financial performance metrics with the measurement of qualitative and non-monetary results like customer satisfaction and socio-environmental impacts, the shift from monitoring processes to focusing on service outcomes and the opportunity offered by ICTs to collect and elaborate a great amount of data on customers, processes and external sources and use them to improve service managers’ decision making.

Keywords: management control, ICT, public services, performance measurement, service co-production.

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Rilevazione del gap tra DRG price e internal cost: implicazioni di case-mix accounting

Case-mix accounting. The gap analysis between DRG price and internal cost

In recent years, national and international studies analyse issues related to the consumption of resources, efficiency and appropriate costs in health care. In this framework, the Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs) system and its implication for case mix, management accounting systems and processes in hospitals still requires research. This study has two objectives. The primary purpose is to investigate the gap between DRGs price and the internal cost for the hospital. The focus on the nursing care and non clinical services is due to the increasing relevance of the health and social care domain and non clinical services as well. Secondly, we want to investigate the opportunity to implement, especially at the national level, accounting case mix systems. The analysis in a hospital in northern Italy provides some results and insights in both directions.

Keywords: DRG, case mix accounting, cost, hospital.

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Performance economiche e ambientali nelle aziende italiane di igiene urbana: prime evidenze empiriche

Financial and environmental performance in Italian waste management companies. An empirical analysis

This article deals with Italian companies owned by Municipalities operating in collection, treatment and disposal of municipal solid waste. The aim is to carry out an exploratory analysis to understand if waste management “good practices” (in terms of separate collection) can be realized by these companies without compromise their financial performance. To verify if a relationship between financial and environmental sustainability exists, an empirical analysis on 45 companies for the years 2012-2013-2014 has been carried out, calculating the ROI ratio and the separate collection per capita: the analysis shows that this relationship exists, even if with a decreasing correlation coefficient in the triennium.

Keywords: waste management companies, separate waste collection, financial performance, environmental performance.

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Managerial accounting and charity in hospitality enterprises

This paper has the objective of analysing the managerial accounting tools in the case of “Lentil as Anything” (LAA), that is an innovative charity in the hospitality industry. It is based on a new typology of catering, in which people can eat and will then pay as they “feel”. The combination of accounting and charity creates a new model of social enterprise and suggests certain analyses regarding the most important tools to use in management control in this area of the tourism sector.

Keywords:  managerial accounting, charity, hospitality industry, social enterprise.

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Misure di performance innovative e modelli di business: il caso delle aziende aeroportuali italiane

Innovative performance measures and business models. The case of Italian airport companies

Business performance measurement literature stated that traditional metrics based strictly on economic and financial perspectives are not longer adequate for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating business performance. Nowadays innovative performance measurement systems are needed to better understand the evolution of businesses.

Because of emerging business models a modification and a deep impact on the definition of companies’ boundaries occurs. Accordingly, the main aim of this paper is to offer a theoretical contribution to the definition of new and innovative performance metrics in the context of a dynamic industry such as airports.

In this work, through the case study method, an innovative system to performance measurement is provided and the so-called “business model value creation ratio” is proposed. This specific approach encompasses simultaneously both shareholder perspective (quantitative-financial measures) and customer perspective (qualitative and non-financial measures).

Keywords: performance, business model, aeroporti, strategia, controllo.

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Applying business analytics for performance measurement and management. The case study of a software company

The concept of Business Performance Analytics (BPA) represents the adoption of analytical methods to support strategy control and (re)formulation. The purpose of the paper is to explore the potential support that BPA can provide for performance management systems. The study, through an interventionist approach, empirically tests a 5-step BPA framework (Raffoni et al. – forthcoming -) and provides insights for further developments.

The longitudinal study, conducted at a company operating in the data-security industry, supported the analysis of BPA potential and offered a number of insights to refine the framework and shed light on critical organisational issues. This paper offers both theoretical and practical suggestions. It is one of the few attempts to investigate the potential of Business Analytics in enhancing strategic control. It provides insights in a practical framework that could be used to guide further research in the area and provides an account of potential challenges faced by businesses when trying to move to strategic control with a data-driven approach.

Keywords: Business Analytics, Performance Measurement Systems, Business Performance Analytics, Big Data.

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Caratteristiche dell’Audit Committee e Gestione del Rischio Bancario: un’analisi empirica del contesto europeo

Audit Committee characteristics and Bank’s Risk Management. An empirical analysis of the European context

This paper examines how three Audit Committee characteristics (i.e., busyness, independence, and gender diversity) affect the effectiveness of its monitoring over bank risk taking and bank risk management strategies. It also explores whether country-cultural features shape the above relationships. Empirically, we analyse, using descriptive statistics and regression models, a sample of European commercial banks listed in the STOXX EUROPE 600 BANKS (ticker SX7P) between 1/1/2008 and 31/12/2013, investigating the direct impact of the Audit Committee characteristics on the bank risk taking, and the moderating effect on the risk-performance relation. In order to examine the role of national culture, we compare two subsamples of European countries, namely SIP (Spain, Italy and Portugal) and NON-SIP countries, characterized by different level of mutual social control, trust on stranger, and gender equality. Data regarding audit committee and board of directors were hand collected from each firm’s Internet site, while financial data concerning ROA, leverage, total assets and stock price series were collected from the Datastream database.

 Keywords: Audit Committee, Bank Risk, Culture, Busyness, Independence, Gender diversity.

Fr

Indice – Financial Reporting 1/2017

Financial Reporting

N. 1/2017

 

The Reporting Entity in Private-Public Accounting Harmonisation. Is Control Enough for the Local Government Consolidated Financial Statements?

Cristian Carini, Laura Rocca, Claudio Teodori, Monica Veneziani

pag. 5
Concerned about Going Concern: When do Entities in Liquidation have to be Considered a Non-Going Concern According to IFRS?

Marius Hasslinger, Michael Olbrich, David Rapp

» 31
The Association between Big4 and Cost of Debt in Private Firms

Stefano Azzali, Tatiana Mazza

» 63
Discretionary Accruals in Italian Private Firms and Non-Linear Bank Loan Granting

Elisabetta Mafrolla, Viola Nobili

» 83

 

 

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INDICE

Management Control

1/2017

Sommario

I sistemi informativi per il controllo e la valutazione delle performance nelle università italiane

Antonella Paolini, Michela Soverchia

pag. 5
I sistemi di misurazione delle performance nelle università: considerazioni critiche sul sistema italiano

Natalia Aversano, Francesca Manes Rossi, Paolo Tartaglia Polcini

» 15
 
La disclosure nei Piani delle Performance delle università italiane. Intenti simbolici vs approcci sostanziali di legittimazione

Alessandra Allini, Adele Caldarelli, Rosanna Spanò

» 37
 
La riforma del sistema informativo-contabile degli atenei italiani. Una proposta di analisi del nuovo modello di bilancio

Sabrina Gigli, Marco Tieghi

» 61
 
Il confronto di performance economico-finanziarie nelle Università: un possibile modello di analisi per indici

Isabella Mozzoni, Simone Fanelli, Antonello Zangrandi

» 93
 
Performance-based funding e sistemi di allocazione delle risorse ai dipartimenti: prime evidenze nelle università italiane

Andrea Francesconi, Enrico Guarini

» 115
 
La misurazione della performance sociale nell’esperienza dell’Università di Bologna

Federica Farneti, Benedetta Siboni, Carlotta del Sordo

» 137
 
Mission della rivista e norme redazionali » 167
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I sistemi informativi per il controllo e la valutazione delle performance nelle università italiane

Information systems for control and performance evaluation in Italian universities

Law no. 240/2010 and subsequent legislation imposed on Italian state universities relevant changes to their governance and control systems. This phenomenon has created debates, studies and research on the consequent effects of changes, still going. Furthermore, universities are, especially in Italy, public administrations interesting and peculiar, characterized by common elements to other public entities, but also by distinctive and almost unique features.

This issue of Management Control includes six papers related the performance measurement and evaluation in the Italian universities. This issue is analyzed for as performance should be according to recent legislation, but also for how it should be according to the management and accounting principles not adopted by law, which could support internal decision-making processes (at the single university level) and external (at ministerial level, in terms of public policies).

Some critical issues emerged: the difficult integration of information systems useful for control and decisions; the habit to use cash accounting, with no consideration of operations’ economic aspects, it’s hard to overcome as a mentality and organizational processes; past practices in measuring/assessing teaching and research processes determined their excessive autonomy, while they should be integrated with each other and with the overall universities’ functioning.

Keywords: Performance Measurement Systems, Italian Universities, Performance plans, disclosure, accrual accounting, performance-based funding, social reports.

Fr

The Reporting Entity in Private-Public Accounting Harmonisation. Is Control Enough for the Local Government Consolidated Financial Statements?

The European Commission initiated a discussion on the expediency of using the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), based on the IAS/IFRS,as a common base for harmonizing the public sector accounting systems of the member states. However, literature suggests that accounting is not neutral with respect to the economic, social and political dimensions. In the perspective of evolution of the accounting regulation outlined, balanced between accountability, with the need to represent phenomena for reporting purposes, and decision-making issues, which concentrates on the quantitative importance of the values, the paper aims to analyse the effects of the application of different criteria for the definition of the reporting entity of the local government consolidated financial statements (CFS). The Italian PCA 4/4, the test of control and the financial accountability approaches are examined. The evidence that emerged from the case studies examined identifies several criticalities in the Italian PCA 4/4 and support the thesis that the financial accountability approach is more effective in providing a complete representation of the public resources entrusted to and managed by the group, whereas the control approach better approximates quantification of the group results in terms of central government surveillance. The analysis highlights the importance of the post implementation review period and the opportunity to contextualize the adoption of the consolidated financial statement in the broader spectrum of the accounting harmonization process, participating in the process of definition of the European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS).

Keywords: accounting regulation, accounting harmonisation, consolidated financial statement, IPSAS, public sector accounting.

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I sistemi di misurazione della performance nelle università: considerazioni critiche sul sistema italiano

The performance measurement systems in universities. Critical considerations on the Italian system

Performance Measurement Systems have long since been adopted by universities. They have been developed in part as a result of reforms introduced by the wave of the New Public Management, but also as consequence of the harmonization process of the education systems which have affected many countries, particularly in Europe. This paper provides an overview of the Performance Measurement Systems adopted in most European countries and introduces a critical analysis of the Italian system, focusing on the three main university missions that require evaluation. These are: research, teaching activities and transfer of technology, all of which are affected by the administrative activity. Through a documentary analysis, particular attention is given to the guidelines issued recently in Italy by the National Agency for the Evaluation of the University System and Research (ANVUR).

From a critical analysis of the systems currently adopted in Italy, taking into account also the systems in other countries, the need to view university performance in a more holistic manner emerges. This would lead towards an integrated assessment of the three main missions that each university is required to accomplish.

Keywords: Performance Measurement Systems, Italian Universities, ANVUR guidelines.

Fr

Concerned about Going Concern: When do Entities in Liquidation have to be Considered a Non-Going Concern According to IFRS?

The rejection of the going concern premise as the underlying assumption of financial statements has far-reaching consequences for accounting. For that reason, it is vitally important to identify the appropriate point in time at which the entity can no longer be regarded as a going concern. Focussing on entities that voluntarily decided to liquidate their operations, the analysis shows that both the IFRS taxonomy and the accounting literature are rather vague on the question of the point in time at which the going concern premise is no longer appropriate. Therefore, we identify the reporting stages that are necessary in the liquidation phase. Contrary to expectations, the paper argues that the going concern assumption should not be immediately abandoned, as retaining it can provide users of financial statements with decisionuseful information. In fact, the paper recommends a value chain based approach. Accordingly, the going concern assumption should not be rejected before the entity has terminated its activities at all stages of its value chain.

Keywords: going concern, liquidation, IFRS, winding-up.

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La disclosure nei Piani della Performance delle università italiane. Intenti simbolici vs approcci sostanziali di legittimazione

The disclosure in the Plans of the Performance of the Italian University. Symbolic intent vs substantial legitimacy approaches

This research focuses on the Performance Plans drawn up by Italian universities, to understand whether the information conveyed in this documents are able to achieve increasing transparency and greater accountability – fulfilling the willingness expressed by recent regulatory attempts – or if, conversely, they constitute a mere symbolic compliance effort. The study embraces the legitimacy framework and relies upon a meaning oriented content analysis of 66 Performance Plans. The main findings show little strategic value underlying Performance Plans, as well as the persistence of certain information gaps on key areas of strategic importance, offering a noteworthy contribution not restricted to the academic debate, but valuable for policy makers and practitioners.

 Keywords: University, Performance plane, disclosure, legitimacy.

Fr

The Association between Big4 and Cost of Debt in Private Firms

This study investigates the association between choice of a Big4 audit firm and Cost of Debt compared with non-Big4 in Italian firms. Based on a sample of Italian companies audited by an audit firm in the period 2007-2012, we perform OLS regressions to test the Big4 association with Cost of Debt. Results confirm our expectation that audit firm size is a significant criterion of audit firm choice and we find that Big4 is associated with lower Cost of Debt than non-Big4 in private firms. The choice of Big4 audit firm reduce the specific agency conflict between banks and owner/management in private firms. We also find that private firms benefit from lower Cost of Debt than public companies. This research makes a contribution to the literature by extending previous results (Gul et al., 2013, Cano Rodriguez and Alegria, 2012, Karjalainen, 2011) to private firms and to the setting of Italy. Results may also be useful for companies choosing auditors in private firms and in the mitigation of agency conflict.

Keywords: Big4, cost of debt, private firms.

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La riforma del sistema informativo-contabile de-gli atenei italiani. Una proposta di analisi del nuovo modello di bilancio

The reform of the accounting information system of Italians universities. A proposal of analysis of the new model budget

The reform of the financial accounting system in Italian Academia. A first assessment of the University settings and performance through the analysis of the renewed financial reporting.

In the context of a wider redesign of Italian university information systems, the shifting from the cash to the accrual accounting approach represents a radical change on the ways to communicate financial and economic information to the stakeholders. At the same time, this also implies an overall transformation of Universities’ internal and external relationships. Such revolutionary changes are determining, in fact, significant modifications both for organizational mechanisms and for decision-making processes. In particular, new priorities seem to shape the governance system, as well as the relationships between the Dean and the other institutional bodies: Board of Directors and Academic Governing Council (Senato Accademico), in particular. The introduction of new tools for external communication offers, therefore, a different representation of university’s structure and performance, affecting the interactions between University and its stakeholders. With the aim to explore such changes, we propose a preliminary analysis of the renewed financial reporting – according to the reform of D.M. n. 9/2014 – of a sample of Italian Universities. In particular will be considered the income statements and the balance sheets at 30 April 2015.

 Keywords: university, accrual accounting, financial reporting, accounting change.

Fr

Discretionary Accruals in Italian Private Firms and Non-Linear Bank Loan Granting

This paper investigates whether and at what extent private firms reduce the quality of their accruals in order to signal a better portrait to the bank and obtain new or larger bank loans. We measure earnings discretionary accruals of a sample of Italian private firms, testing whether new and larger bank loans are associated with a higher (lower) quality of earnings in borrowers’ financial reporting. We study bank loan levels and changes and how they impact discretionary accruals and found that, surprisingly, private firms’ discretionary accruals are systematically positively affected by an increase in bank loans, although they are negatively affected by the credit worthiness rating assigned to the borrowers. We find that the monitoring role of the banking system with regard to the adoption of discretionary accruals is effective only when the loan is very large. This paper may have implications for policy-makers as it contributes to the understanding of the shortcomings of the banking regulatory system. This is an extremely relevant issue since the excessive amount of non-performing loans held by Italian banks recently threatened the stability of the European Banking Union as a whole.

Keywords: Discretionary accruals, private firms, bank loans, non-performing loans, private loans.

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Il confronto di performance economico-finanziarie nelle Università: un possibile modello di analisi per indici

Comparing economical-financial performances of Universities. A ratio-based model

In Europe and in Italy, Universities are pressured to increase their performance. As a matter of fact, recently, several national governments have introduced quasi-market mechanism, pursuing the aim of encourage competition among Universities, improving efficiency, effectiveness and increasing economic viability. In this scenario, the practice of benchmarking is becoming more important as it provides a realistic approach for assessing the performance in critical areas for learning from the experience of other organisations. However, the majority of performance indicators only refers to the two main core activities of University (research and teaching), underestimating the economical-financial performances. The idea is to provide managers with a multidimensional performance evaluation system, which also consider the accounting dimension as an essential element to support strategic decisions. The paper aims to define a set of balance sheet ratios, which take into account the peculiarity of University management, meanwhile developing data-benchmarking process for monitoring and compare economic and financial dynamic in higher education institutions.

Keywords: higher education, benchmarking, balance sheet ratios.

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Performance-based funding e sistemi di allocazione delle risorse ai dipartimenti: prime evidenze nelle università italiane

Performance-based funding and resource allocation systems. An empirical analysis in Italian Universities

This article presents the results of an empirical research aimed to investigate the relationship between performance-based funding (PBF) systems and resource allocation systems within public sector organizations. This research is focused on the mechanisms for allocation of new faculty positions in Italian public universities, which are characterized by an increasing relevance of PBF over the last years. This context allows us to assess both the coherence between universities’ performance measurement systems and the PBF system and the awareness of its effects. Results show, with few exceptions, a high degree of maturity in the design of universities performance measurement systems. These systems have been primarily designed to be consistent with universities’ organizational context and strategies so avoiding a simplistic transposition of performance indicators drawn from the PBF system.

Keywords: higher education, public universities, performance measurement systems, performance-based funding, resource allocation.

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La misurazione della performance sociale nell’esperienza dell’Università di Bologna

The social and environmental performance measurement at the University of Bologna

New Public Management principles have led to a growing number of public organisations to use social and environmental performance measurement tools, such as social reports, to be accountable in terms of results, social and environmental impacts. Thus, social report, with reference to the state universities, is developing. This article analyses, the process to develop a social report and the consequential performance measurement in terms of social and environmental impacts. The social report of the studied organisation is an expression of the following functions: (1) transparency of the activity, (2) internal governance (3) stakeholders engagement and (4) measurement of the economic, social and environmental impacts provide with reference the territory. The case study method is used to develop this research. We have applied it to the University of Bologna, which is a large-university that has included in its stated (set out in the Charter of the University to be therefore developed consistently every year) reporting system the social report.

Keywords: environmental performance, social reports, social and environmental impacts.