Strengthening the Public Sector Accounting Through ICT: The Experience of a Developing Country

  • Md Salah Uddin Rajib
  • Md Qutub Uddin Sajib
  • Mahfuzul Hoque


This chapter aims to investigate the performance of public sector accounting (PSA) after introducing the computer-aided mechanism in a developing country, Bangladesh. Transparency and accountability which are assumed as the accelerator for the development of a nation are urged for the PSA for a long time. For poverty alleviation, reformation of PSA in developing countries has been suggested by the donor agencies as well. Different mechanisms have emerged as a consequence for the demand of PSA reformation. As a part of reforming the PSA, Bangladesh has introduced Integrated Budget and Accounting Systems (iBAS), a computer-based network through the country. The iBAS has been introduced with the association of donor agencies. This chapter focuses on the gradual performance of some parts of the PSA (e.g., bill passing, check clearing) to investigate the effectiveness of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in public sector accounting. The investigation, analysis, and discussion indicate that the iBAS is likely to have positive impacts on strengthening the PSA. Therefore, it is expected that the iBAS can impact favorably on efficient public expenditure. The experience of adopting the iBAS and the structure of the iBAS in Bangladesh have been introduced in the chapter as well.


Public sector accounting ICT (Information and Communication Technology) iBAS (Integrated Budget and Accounting Systems) Developing country Bangladesh 


  1. 1.
    Lapsley, I. (1999). Accounting and the new public management: Instruments of substantive efficiency or a rationalising modernity. Financial Accountability and Management, 15(3&4), 201–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hood, C. (1991). A public management for all seasons. Public Administration, 69(Spring), 3–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Carpenter, V. L., & Feroz, E. H. (2001). Institutional theory and accounting rule choice: An analysis of four US state governments’ decisions to adopt generally accepted accounting principles. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 26(7/8), 565–596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Harun, H., Van Peursem, K., & Eggleton, I. (2012). Institutionalization of accrual accounting in the Indonesian public sector. Journal of Accounting and Organizational Change, 8(3), 257–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Adhikari, P., Kuruppu, C., & Matilal, S. (2013). Dissemination and institutionalization of public sector accounting reforms in less developed countries: A comparative study of the Nepalese and Sri Lankan central governments. Accounting Forum, 37(3), 213–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Goddard, A. (2010). Contemporary public sector accounting research – An international comparison of journal papers. The British Accounting Review, 42, 75–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Rahaman, A. S. (2010). Critical accounting research in Africa: Whence and whither. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 21(5), 420–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hevner, A. R., March, S. T., Park, S. T. J., & Ram, S. (2004). Design science in information systems research. MIS Quarterly, 28(1), 75–105.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Geerts, G. L., Graham, L. E., Mauldin, E. G., McCarthy, & Richardson, V. J. (2013). Integrating information technology into accounting research and practice. Accounting Horizons, 27(4), 815–8840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Simon, H. A. (1996). The sciences of the artificial (3rd ed.). Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hoque, M., Rajib, M. S. U., & Akter, M. (2016). Development of public sector accounting: Reformation and challenges in Bangladesh. Australia – Bangladesh Research Symposium, Monash Business School, Monash University, Australia.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Walsham, G., Robey, D., & Sahay, S. (2007). Forward: Special issue on information systems in developing countries. MIS Quarterly, 31(2), 317–326.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hunton, J. E. (2002). Blending information and communication technology with accounting research. Accounting Horizon, 16(1), 55–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mancini, D., Dameri, R. P., & Bonollo, E. (2016). Looking for synergies between accounting and information technologies. In D. Mancini, R. P. Dameri, & E. Bonollo (Eds.), Strengthening information and control systems (pp. 1–12). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Heeks, R. (2002). Information systems and developing countries: Failure, success, and local improvisations. The Information Society, 18, 101–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lechman, E. (2015). ICT diffusion in developing countries: Towards a new concept of technological takeoff. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ouda, H. A. G. (2014). Transition requirements of accrual accounting in central government of developed and developing countries: Statistical analysis – with special focus on the Netherlands and Egypt. International Journal of Accounting and Finance, 4(3), 261–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Simpson, Samuel Nana Yaw. (2012). Developments in public sector accounting practices: The Ghanaian experience. In Venancio Tauringana, & Musa Mangena, (Eds.), Accounting in Africa (research in accounting in emerging economies, volume 12 Part A) (pp. 209–226). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, UK.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Adhikari, P., Kuruppu, C., Wynne, A., & Ambalangodage, D. (2015). Diffusion of the cash Basis International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) in Less Developed Countries (LDCs)–the case of the Nepali central government. The Public Sector Accounting, Accountability and Auditing in Emerging Economies, 15, 85–108.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Yapa, P. W. S., & Ukwatte, S. (2015). The New Public Financial Management (NPFM) and accrual accounting in Sri Lanka. In Kelum Jayasinghe, Nirmala D. Nath, & Radiah Othman, (Eds.), The public sector accounting, accountability and auditing in emerging economies (research in accounting in emerging economies, Volume 15) (pp. 7–50). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, UK.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Adhikari, P., Timoshenko, K., & Garseth-Nesbakk, L. (2012). Reforming central government accounting in diverse contexts: A three-country comparison. International Journal of Public Sector Performance Management, 2(1), 44–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rajib, M. S. U., & Hoque, M. (2016). A literature review on public sector accounting research. The Jahangirnagar Journal of Business Studies, 5(1), 39–52.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Christiaens, J., Vanhee, C., Manes-Rossi, F., Aversano, N., & Cauwenberge, P. V. (2015). The effect of IPSAS on reforming governmental financial reporting: An international comparison. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 81(1), 158–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    James, E. H. (2002). Blending information and communication technology with accounting research. Accounting Horizons, 16(1), 55–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Cordella, A., & Ianncci, F. (2010). Information systems in the public sector: The e-government enactment framework. Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 19, 52–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Mistry, J. J. (2012). The role of eGovernance in mitigating corruption. Accounting and the Public Interest, 12, 137–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hopper, T., Tsamenyi, M., Uddin, S., & Wickramasinghe, D. (2009). Management accounting in less developed countries: What is known and needs knowing. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 22(3), 469–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Neu, D. (2006). Accounting for public space. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 31, 391–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Iyoha, F. O., & Oyerinde, D. (2010). Accounting infrastructure and accountability in the management of public expenditure in developing countries: A focus on Nigeria. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 21(5), 361–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Bovens, M., Goodin, R. E., & Schillemans, T. (2014). The Oxford handbook of public accountability. Oxford handbooks (1st ed.). UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Romzek, B. S., & Dubnick, M. J. (1998). Accountability. In J. Shafritz, D. Krane, & S. W. Deil (Eds.), International encyclopedia of public policy and administration. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Pollitt, C. (2003). The essential public manager. London: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Mimba, N. S. H., Helden, G. J. V., & Tillema, S. (2007). Public sector performance measurement in developing countries: A literature review and research agenda. Journal of Accounting and Organizational Change, 3(3), 192–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Jain, A. K. (2001). Corruption: A review. Journal of Economic Surveys, 15, 72–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Kaufmann, D., Kraay, A., & Zoido-Lobaton, P. (2000). Governance matters: From measurement to action, finance and development, 37 (2). Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Bhargava, V. K., & Bolongaita, E. P. (2004). Challenging corruption in Asia: Case studies and a framework for action. Washington, DC: World Bank Publications.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Sevensson, J. (2005). Eight question about corruption. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 13(9), 19–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Gupta, S., Davoodi, H., & Alonso-Terme, R. (2002). Does corruption affect income inequality and poverty? Economics of Governance, 3(1), 23–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Tanzi, V. (1998). Corruption around the world: Causes, consequences, scope, and cures. Staff Papers, 45(4), 559–594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Dunleavy, P., Margetts, H., Bastow, S., & Tinkler, J. (2006). New public management is dead – long live digital-era governance. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 16(3), 467–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Gupta, B., Dasgupta, S., & Gupta, A. (2008). Adoption of ICT in a government organization in a developing country: An empirical study. Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 17, 140–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Pathak, J., Nkurunziza, S., & Ahmed, S. E. (2007). General theory of cost minimization strategies of continuous audit of databases. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 26(5), 621–633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Sandeep, M. S., & Ravishankar, M. N. (2014). The continuity of underperforming ICT projects in the public sector. Information Management, 51, 700–711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Heeks, R. (2006). Implementing and managing eGovernment – an international text. London: Sage Publication.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Chaudhuri, A. (2012). ICT for development: Solutions seeking problems? Journal of Information Technology, 27(4), 326–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Pollock, B. (2010). Bangladesh – Review of iBAS integrated budget and accounting system moving toward 2nd phase of iBAS (iBAS+). Washington, DC: World Bank. Scholar
  47. 47.
    Office of the Controller General of Accounts (CGA). (n.d.). Objective and activities. Accessed 3 Feb 2016.
  48. 48.
    Office of the Upazilla Accounts Officer (UAO). (n.d.). Charter of duties. Accessed 4 Mar 2016.
  49. 49.
    Office of the District Accounts Officer (DAO). (n.d.). Charter of duties. Accessed 7 Mar 2016.
  50. 50.
    Office of the Divisional Controller of Accounts (DCA). (n.d.). Charter of duties. Accessed 8 Mar 2016.
  51. 51.
    Office of the Chief Accounts Officer (CAO). (n.d.). Charter of duties. Accessed 9 Mar 2016.
  52. 52.
    Cordella, A., & Bonina, C. M. (2012). A public value perspective for ICT enabled public sector reforms: A theoretical reflection. Government Information Quarterly, 29(4), 512–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Kudo, H. (2010). E-governance as a strategy of public sector reform: Peculiarity of Japanese IT policy and its institutional origin. Financial Accountability and Management, 26(1), 65–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Haque, M. S. (2002). E-governance in India: Its impacts on relations among citizens, politicians and public servants. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 68(2), 231–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Pathak, R. D., Singh, G., Belwal, R., & Smith, R. F. I. (2007). E-governance and corruption-developments and issues in Ethiopia. Public Organization Review, 7(3), 195–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Barata, K., & Cain, P. (2001). Information, not technology, is essential to accountability: Electronic records and public sector financial management. The Information Society, 17(4), 247–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Yildiz, M. (2007). E-government research: Reviewing the literature, limitations, and ways forward. Government Information Quarterly, 24, 646–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Hackney, R. A., & McBride, N. K. (1995). The efficacy of information systems in the public sector: Issues of context and culture. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 8(6), 17–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Heeks, R., & Bhatnagar, S. (1999). Understanding success and failure in information age reform. In R. Heeks (Ed.), Reinventing government in the information age: IT enabled public sector reform (pp. 49–74). London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Hazlett, S. A., & Hill, F. (2003). E-government: The realities of using IT to transform the public sector. Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, 13(6), 445–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Dawes, S. S. (2008, December). The evolution and continuing challenges of E-governance. Public Administration Review, 12, 586–600.Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Singh, G., Pathak, R. D., Naz, R., & Belwal, R. (2010). E-governance for improved public sector service delivery in India, Ethiopia and Fiji. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 23(3), 254–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Md Salah Uddin Rajib
    • 1
  • Md Qutub Uddin Sajib
    • 2
  • Mahfuzul Hoque
    • 3
  1. 1.Jahangirnagar UniversityDhakaBangladesh
  2. 2.China University of Geosciences (CUG)WuhanChina
  3. 3.University of DhakaDhakaBangladesh

Personalised recommendations