Edited by Trevor Hopper, Mathew Tsamenyi, Shahzad Uddin and Danture Wickramasinghe
Chapter 2: Accounting and Development: The Role of Donors from Policy to Practice
Sara Fyson INTRODUCTION The quality of a country’s accounting and auditing practices plays a critical role in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As a core element of a country’s financial and accountability architecture, a strong accounting framework enables governments to manage their resources effectively in order to implement their development policies and deliver public services. Multilateral and bilateral development agencies are well aware of the importance of strong accounting policies and practices for development and therefore provide significant resources and financing to this area. Interest and support from donor organizations for the strengthening of countries’ accounting practices (in both the public and the private sector) are unlikely to diminish, especially in the wake of the financial crisis. It is likely that the functions that accounting provides will be in greater demand than ever given that pressures on national budgets are increasing and additional demands are being made by the public in both developed and developing countries for more transparency and accountability in public resources. This chapter examines: the reasons for donor support towards improved accounting practices and standards; the ways in which donors support public and private sector accountancy; and both challenges and opportunities in the delivery of aid to this area. PART I DONOR SUPPORT FOR STRENGTHENED ACCOUNTING PRACTICES: AN INTRODUCTION Donor Support: Rationale and Practices The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) defines accountancy as the ‘foundation for the production, audit and dissemination of high quality financial information, a means of promoting transparency and accountability, a...
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