Factors impeding full implementation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) In Uganda

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Nangonzi, Sharon
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MSc International Accounting and Finance
Dublin Business School
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Current studies in both developed and developing countries have advocated for IPSAS implementation, confirming realized benefits for IPSAS compliant countries. Whereas some countries have remarkable progress to full implementation, the story is different for Uganda. Accountant General’s most recently issued Treasury instructions (2017) still refer to compliance with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAPs) despite their reference to IPSAS for some Accounting treatments, an indication that Uganda is still far away from full compliance with IPSAS. The purpose of this study was to establish the factors impeding Uganda from fully implementing IPSAS for government financial reporting, despite its 2006 commitment to fully adopt it. To achieve the stated objective, an interpretivism philosophy with an inductive approach was taken since there were no prior presumptions about the factors. The grounded theory strategy was used to collect qualitative data through face to face semi-structured interviews. The results showed a number of impeding factors which among others included; high implementation costs, inadequate professional capacity, unstable government systems and structures, and the perception that IPSAS is not a national priority for Uganda currently. These factors have not only been highlighted by the preparers of financial statements, but also by the regulators and auditors and this has affected the ability to improve the state of government financial reporting and management, transparency and accountability, financial systems and hence economic prosperity.