Articoli

Fr

The usefulness of accounting research: A practitioner’s point of view

This paper represents a contribution from the point of view of a practitioner who strongly believes that it is essential to continue to invest in accounting research. The cooperation between chief financial officers, auditors and academic institutions is central not only for improving the process of accounting regulations but also for relaunching, at the same time, the industrial system (and not only it), by creating a strong feeling of trust in general economic and financial communication, thus fostering higher level of accountability.

Keywords: Accounting profession, accounting research, research impact, impact factor, accountability.

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Accountability e trasparenza nella PA: tra retorica e realtà

A seguito dei recenti interventi normativi (d.lgs. 33/2013, d.lgs. 97/2016), i temi relativi all’accountability e alla trasparenza nelle pubbliche amministrazioni sono entrati pienamente nel dibattito scientifico, politico e pubblico. Il presente contributo intende presentare un’analisi del significato e delle implicazioni operative dei concetti di trasparenza ed accountability. Nel fare questo si evidenzieranno le differenze ed i legami reciproci, così come gli effetti indesiderati che possono generare nella gestione delle amministrazioni pubbliche.

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Following recent reforms (d.lgs. 33/2013, d.lgs. 97/2016), the accountability and transparency of the Italian public sector organisations have become two buzzwords in the scientific, political and public debate. The present paper intends to present analysis of the meanings and the operative implications of the application of transparency and accountability. In doing so, the paper highlights the differences, complementarities and relations between transparency and accountability, as well as the potential unintended consequences of their use.

Keywords: Accountability, Transparency, Performance

Fr

Disclosures in Local Healthcare Organizations’ Social Reports. ‘What?’ and ‘Why?’ An Empirical Analysis of the Italian National Healthcare System

In recent years, public administration reform and the increase in information requests from citizens has drawn attention to the issue of reporting information (other than ‘financial’). Local healthcare organizations, as well as public administrations, have been affected by these developments. This paper presents the results of content analysis conducted on social reports published by Italian local healthcare organizations from 2009-2013 with the purpose of verifying the actual significance of the elements that according to the literature and standard setters, should define the scope and content of social reporting. The study highlights the fact that the healthcare organizations analysed tend to focus on the type and volume of the services provided, while neglecting the connection between predefined objectives and actual performance – as well as stakeholder engagement in the social reporting process. Social reports have the role therefore of being merely a tool for unidirectional communication by the healthcare organization to its stakeholders.

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Keywords: Social reporting, local healthcare organizations, accountability

Fr

Do Corporate Governance Characteristics Affect Non-Financial Risk Disclosure in Government-owned Companies? The Italian Experience

While a considerable amount of research has already been carried out into the corporate governance determinants of non-financial risk disclosure in companies in the private sector, such determinants in the annual reports of listed Governmentowned Companies (LGCs) have yet to be investigated fully. This study attempts to complete the picture. Italian LGCs have been selected for analysis and agency theory has been applied in the public sector under the accountability paradigm. The research investigates whether non-financial risk disclosure provided in the Management Commentary (MC) of Italian LGCs may be affected by ownership concentration, corporate governance mechanisms and company-specific features. The issue is of particular importance in a country where Government intervention has significantly affected its economic development since the nineteenth century. Our findings show that there is a relationship between the level of non-financial risk disclosure and Board diversity, leverage and sector. Our findings also reveal some useful insights concerning policy makers and standard setters.

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Keywords: Government-owned companies, accountability, non-financial risk disclosure, corporate governance.

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La accountability delle società partecipate dalle pubbliche amministrazioni italiane e il modello civilistico di rendicontazione: un improbabile connubio

State-Owned Enterprises accountability and private sector based financial reporting: an imperfect wedding in the Italian accounting regulation

Italian State-Owned Companies often present a public-style accountability. Nonetheless, they generally have to comply with private sector reporting requirements. This significantly impairs the effectiveness of their financial reporting system and limits the control by the relevant public authorities. Observing the reporting requirements of Australian and New Zealand SOEs, the study calls for a radical change in Italian SOE reporting model and highlights a first set of minor possible amendments to the current financial reporting model.

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Accountability e strumenti di rendicontazione sociale nelle province italiane

L’obiettivo di questo lavoro è verificare la diffusione della rendicontazione sociale all’interno delle province italiane, oggetto di particolare attenzione nell’ambito delle disposizioni per la revisione della spesa pubblica introdotte dal decreto-legge 6 luglio 2012, n. 95. Attraverso lo svolgimento di una ricerca empirica su tutte le province italiane sono stati analizzati gli strumenti utilizzati per la rendicontazione sociale, gli attori coinvolti e le criticità incontrate al fine di proporre delle indicazioni manageriali che potrebbero essere utili in fase di un eventuale accorpamento delle province e di un miglior utilizzo e diffusione degli strumenti collegati alla rendicontazione sociale all’interno degli enti locali.

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The purpose of this work is to verify the diffusion of social reporting among the Italian provinces, object of particular attention under the public spending review provisions introduced by Decree-Law 6th of July 2012, number 95. The tools used for social reporting, the players involved and the critical aspects were analyzed through an empirical research on all the Italian provinces. All this in order to propose managerial guidelines that might be useful in case of eventual unification of provinces and in case of better use of instruments connected to social reporting within local governments.

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Key words: Social reporting, Local authorities, Accountability

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Sistemi di welfare e accountability delle aziende non profit: verso una rendicontazione condivisa e partecipata dei servizi alla persona

Negli ultimi anni il settore non profit, più di ogni altro, ha assistito al proliferare di prescrizioni normative, linee guida e modelli di rendicontazione sociale e di missione. Cogliendo l’opportunità di un così ricco panorama, il presente lavoro si propone di riflettere sul concetto di accountability delle aziende non profit, con particolare riferimento ai nuovi scenari e alle possibilità offerte dall’evoluzione dei sistemi di welfare. In modo specifico, viene presentata una riflessione sulle forme di rendicontazione condivise e partecipate, quale possibile esercizio di contemperamento di diversi interessi, doveri e responsabilità e premessa di un più ampio e generale governo partecipato nella gestione dei servizi di pubblica utilità, e nello specifico di quelli alla persona.

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In recent years the nonprofit sector, more than any other, has witnessed a proliferation of regulatory requirements, guidelines and models of social and mission reporting. Seizing the opportunity offered by such a rich panorama, this paper aims to reflect on the concept of accountability for nonprofit organizations, with particular reference to the new scenarios and opportunities arising from the evolution of welfare systems. More specifically, we consider new forms of shared and participatory accountability as a possible way of moderating different interests, duties and responsibilities and as an introduction to a broader and more generally shared management of public utilities and, in particular, of social services.

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Key words: Accountability, Nonprofit organizations, Shared accountability

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l livelli di governance nel distretto culturale dei Castelli romani

Il contributo analizza il processo di attivazione e l’evoluzione della governance del distretto culturale dei Castelli romani, integrando diversi approcci teorici e modelli concettuali (stakeholder management, public governance…) presenti in letteratura e dimostrando come questi possano essere utilmente applicati per analizzare i sistemi di governance dei distretti culturali. Dopo aver esaminato il processo di riorientamento verso il modello del “distretto della creatività”, il confronto con altre best practice nazionali di collaborazione interistituzionale permette di identificare le funzioni di coordinamento strategico dei network nei distretti culturali e le relative competenze chiave.

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This paper analyzes the activation process and the evolution of governance in the cultural district of Roman Castles, integrating different theoretical approaches and conceptual models (stakeholder management, public governance…) in the literature and showing how they can be usefully applied to analyze governance systems in cultural districts. After reviewing the process used to re-orientate the district towards the “creativity” model, a comparison with other national best practices of interinstitutional collaboration allows to identify which are the strategic coordination functions (and related core skills) of networks in cultural districts.

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Key words: Public governance, Network governance and management, Accountability, Nonprofit organizations, Shared accountability

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Nuovi sviluppi in tema di rendicontazione sociale nelle Federazioni Sportive Nazionali (FSN)

Obiettivo del presente lavoro è quello di evidenziare i recenti sviluppi in tema di rendicontazione sociale che hanno interessato, negli ultimi anni, le Federazioni Sportive Nazionali. In particolare, si intende indagare i fattori che esercitano un’influenza sull’adozione del bilancio sociale e l’impatto che tale strumento di social reporting produce all’interno delle realtà sportive federali. In questo scenario, le FSN confermano la loro posizione di rilievo per l’utilità sociale del loro operato poiché svolgono una funzione di sviluppo del sistema sportivo, educativo e di benessere sociale. Nello specifico il bilancio sociale ha permesso di attivare un “circolo virtuoso” di programmazione gestione-rendicontazione-verifica dei risultati, in grado di accrescere la responsabilizzazione dell’organizzazione sul raggiungimento degli scopi sociali ed istituzionali, offrendo al tempo stesso agli interlocutori esterni una modalità di valutazione sul merito dell’operato della federazione.

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The aim of this paper is to highlight the new trends in the field of social reporting that have involved the National Sports Federations (FSN) in recent years. Our purpose was to investigate a) the factors that effect the adoption of social reporting, and b) the effects that the latter produces on these organizations. In this scenario, the FSNs confirm the social utility of their activities, with specific respect to the development of sports, educational and social welfare. In particular, social reporting has activated a “virtuous circle” of planning-management-accounting-control, which can increase accountability throughout the organization in order to achieve social and institutional goals and to enable external stakeholders to assess the federation’s performance.

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Key words: Accountability, Social reporting, National Sports Federations

Fr

IAS-IFRS e rendicontazione socio-ambientale: una verifica della estendibilità dei principi generali del Framework alla valutazione della qualità dei documenti volontari (IAS-IFRS and social and environmental accounting reporting: a review of the extensibility of the Framework’s general principles to assess the quality of volunteer disclosures)

Obiettivo del presente lavoro è investigare sull’osservanza delle caratteristiche qualitative individuate dal Framework IASB nella predisposizione dei bilanci sociali e di sostenibilità, evidenziando al contempo la necessità di introdurre l’obbligatorietà del rispetto dei medesimi, in quanto elementi ritenuti imprescindibili per la produzione di documenti socio-ambientali attendibili. Nello specifico, lo studio empirico è fondato sull’analisi dei report pubblicati da un campione di imprese quotate nel periodo 2004-2008, con l’intento di verificare, attraverso un’indagine quali-quantitativa l’”utilità” dei bilanci socio-ambientali, la quale dipende dalla comprensibilità, significatività, attendibilità e comparabilità delle informazioni in essi contenute. I dati rilevati, statisticamente elaborati, rappresentano l’atteggiamento qualitativo di risposta delle società alle caratteristiche individuate dal Framework, quale scelta consapevole o inconsapevole di allineamento ad esse.

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The aim of this work is to investigate the compliance with the qualitative characteristics identified by the IASB Framework in preparing social and sustainability reports, while highlighting the need to introduce the mandatory respect for themselves as elements considered essential for the production of reliable social and environmental disclosures. In particular, the empirical study is based on the analysis of published reports from a sample of Italian listed companies in the period 2004-2008, with the intent to verify, through a qualitative and quantitative investigation, the effectiveness of socio-environmental reports, which depends on the understandability, relevance, reliability and comparability of the information contained therein. The data collected, processed statistically represent the attitude of companies to answer qualitative characteristics identified by the Framework, as conscious or unconscious choice of alignment with them.

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Keywords: social and environmental reports, Framework IASB, accountability, qualitative characteristics, listed companies, standards.