What is it about?
The amalgamation of local governments may prove difficult because of contrasting political interests. This article explains the process that the municipality of Milan has gone through in 1873-1876 to annex the neighbour municipality and shows example of the way accounting information has been framed to facilitate the political process of amalgamation. Free online access at: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/pye7QdvRkjRRKRSwN5Dn/full?target=10.1080/21552851.2018.1499539
Photo by Duo Chen on Unsplash
Why is it important?
This case provides an example of early use of management accounting principles in local government that can be informative for contemporary public management. It shows that making adequate disclosure of costs and benefits associated with each municipality helps in building a shared view among political leaders and facilitates the sense making of the new community. By reporting relevant accounting information, prioritising criteria for the allocation of common services expenditure appropriately and presenting them in a clear and simple manner, the municipal chief accountant made financial statements of the new amalgamated entity easier for elected councillors to read and understand.
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This page is a summary of: Accounting for community building: the municipal amalgamation of Milan in 1873–1876, Accounting History Review, May 2018, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/21552851.2018.1499539.
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