Accruals Accounting Approaches in the UK Public Sector: Diversity and Convergence

  • Sheila Ellwood


Since the 1980s there have been extensive developments in financial accounting for central government departments, local authorities and hospitals within the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. However, the developments have not been uniform — different parts of the public sector have developed their previously diverse accounting approaches over different timescales and along different lines. This article briefly sets out the accounting frameworks of three parts of the UK public sector in the 1980s together with conceptual thinking on the nature of public sector accounting at that time. It then examines how each branch of public sector accounting in the UK has developed using illustrations from the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Leeds City Council and Hereford Hospitals NHS Trust. The contextual setting is analyzed to provide an insight into why public service accounting developed in the 1990s. The final section considers the extent of convergence and diversity in accounting for public services.


Public Sector National Health Service Balance Sheet Intellectual Property Right Financial Account Standard Board 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

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  • Sheila Ellwood

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