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Title: An analysis of the role of accounting officer in the Maltese public service : the challenges ahead
Authors: McNamara, Maria Helena (2013)
Bartolo, Mario (2013)
Keywords: Corporate governance -- Malta
Risk management -- Malta
Accrual basis accounting -- Malta
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: McNamara, M. H., & Bartolo, M. (2013). An analysis of the role of accounting officer in the Maltese public service : the challenges ahead (Higher Diploma long essay).
Abstract: This study examined the role of the accounting officer in the Maltese Public Service, with particular interest to the challenges ahead. Literature relating to this role was extensively researched, such as pertinent legislation, government circulars, scholarly articles, online publications, books and journals. Amongst others, challenges included upholding good public sector corporate governance, risk management and internal controls, upgrading of IT systems in conjunction with introduction of accrual accounting and scrutiny of the country's finances by the European Union. Issues on budgeting, auditing and improved delineated accountabilities were also explored. We developed primary research in the form of questionnaires and three in-depth interviews, directed to low grade accounting officers and high ranking officers respectively. This research provided more insight into the challenges we analysed, precisely the way accounting officers perceive them, their impact on their roles and the dire need to invest and direct resources on certain matters. We discovered that intensive and rigorous training is needed if the accrual accounting system is to be introduced effectively and probably training needs to be administered on a compulsory basis. Knowledge on the accrual system is not deeply ingrained in officers. Increasingly, coaching and mentoring need to be embedded in accounts and finance sections. Accounting qualifications among officers resulted as very modest and needs to be tackled although efforts are already being implemented. On a positive note, accounting officers were found to possess relevant experience in their field but delineated accountability generally lacked. From interviews as well as from the questionnaires it transpired that accounting officers would appreciate an accounting and finance manual, new legislation and the latest IT accounting packages and an increase in salaries due to increasing responsibilities. Risk management was found to be almost non-existent although some internal controls are in place. We conclude that although accounting and finance is conducting its tasks in the public service, the need is felt for increased impetus to face the challenges mentioned above.
Description: H.DIP.ACCTY.&FIN.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEma - 2013
Dissertations - FacEMAAcc - 2013

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