Effects of Facilitating Internal Control Mechanisms on Financial Sustainability:The Case of Local Governments in Spain


  • Marta de Vicente-Lama Ph.D., Associate Professor, Universidad LoyolUniversidad Loyola Andalucía, Department of Financial Economics and Accounting, Sevilla, Spain https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6433-4101
  • Pilar Tirado-Valencia Ph.D., Professor, Universidad Loyola Andalucía, Department of Financial Economics and Accounting, Sevilla, Spain https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3969-0523
  • Antonio Barral-Rivada Ph.D., Associate Professor, Universidad Loyola Andalucía, Department of Financial Economics and Accounting, Sevilla, Spain
  • Beatriz Toscano-Valle Master's Degree in Auditing and Finance, Universidad Loyola Andalucía, Department of Financial Economics and Accounting, Sevilla, Spain




Internal control, Local governments, Financial Sustainability, Risk assessment, Internal Audit


This paper provides evidence about the effects of facilitating internal control mechanisms on the financial sustainability of local governments. Specifically, it explores the effect of Spanish regulation mandating that municipalities prepare the Annual Financial Control Plan (PACF for its acronym in Spanish). The study is based on the PACFs of 77 Spanish municipalities and relates the quality of risk analysis and the scope of planned public audit activities to the financial sustainability of the municipalities. Our results show that higher quality risk-based planning and increased use of operational audits contribute to financial sustainability. We also find that municipalities with less complex structures and women in positions of responsibility, such as mayor or controller, have greater financial sustainability. In contrast, a lack of resources for the development of the control function is a limiting factor.


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