What Factors Drive Faithful Financial Reporting by Subnational Governments? Insights from Switzerland


  • Naomi Luta University of Lausanne, IDHEAP―Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration




financial faithfulness, governmental accounting standards, factors, IPSAS, Swiss subnational governments, democracy


Using the context of the 26 Swiss subnational governments, this paper aims to empirically identify factors driving—or not—the use of accounting and reporting standards aimed to increase financial faithfulness. Because the 26 entities had a certain autonomy, as they jointly implemented two major successive accounting reforms over the past forty years, policy outcomes were heterogeneous. Findings suggest that both citizen demand and government supply-side factors contribute to explaining the extent to which each entity’s policy led to a faithful reporting. This paper thus highlights some of the challenges in implementing supranational (e.g., IPSAS, EPSAS) or national accounting standards at lower tiers, when governments have some leeway over the process, while yet facing strong democratic scrutiny.


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