Management accounting change and the implementation of gfmis: A Jordanian case study

Nizar Mohammad Alsharari, Mayada Abd El-Aziz Youssef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explain the processes of management accounting change (MAC) in the Jordanian Customs Organization (JCO) within its social context following public sector reforms. It focuses on the regulative way in which a new accounting system of government financial management information system (GFMIS) was implemented throughout three levels of an institutional framework. Design/methodology/approach: The paper uses an interpretive case study in which the GFMIS was imposed by the government. It draws on a framework that comprises three institutional approaches: old institutional economics; new institutional sociology; and power mobilization. Findings: In the JCO case, the GFMIS contributed effectively to the development of a comprehensive approach to the preparation of the budget while it works to facilitate the estimated process of expenditures and revenues. The study recognizes that the implementation of GFMIS may have emerged primarily as a response to external political and economic pressures. The MAC was carried out in the "from-top-to-bottom" level of institutional analysis, which confirms the "path-dependent" and evolutionary nature of the change. It concludes that the evolutionary MAC in the JCO case study was not only a decorative innovation in management accounting, but was also represented in the working practices. It has produced comprehensive and timely information about strategic planning, chart of accounts and classification of assets, liabilities, and revenues and expenses at all levels of management and programs. The study also confirms that management accounting is not a static phenomenon but one that changes over time to reflect new systems and practices. Research limitations/implications: The need for having an integrated GFMIS in the authors' case arises from two key dimensions: increasing pressures from the International Monetary Fund to improve fiscal management and reporting, and the government needs to respond to the demand of better information disclosure. GFMIS has provided an integrated solution for public financial management through the automation of the entire life cycle of budget preparation, budget execution, and financial reporting. The system operates across all budget organizations to ensure transparency and accountability in all public resources transactions, including allocation, use, and monitoring. Hence, it has important implications for policy decision makers through linking all budget organizations, for the purposes of supporting the process of decision making in an informed manner. The study has important implications for the ways in which change dynamics can emerge, diffuse, and implement at three levels of institutional analysis. It also explains the interaction between the external origins and internal accounts, which identified that GFMIS is both shaped by, and is shaping, wider socio-economic and political processes. Originality/value: This study fills a gap in the literature, as it explains the processes of MAC associated with the introduction of GFMIS in the JCO within its social context. It recognizes the institutional pressures that affected the emergence and diffusion of GFMIS and how they interacted through three levels of institutional analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-261
Number of pages20
JournalAsian Review of Accounting
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Alsharari et al. framework
  • Government financial management information system
  • Institutional theory
  • Management accounting change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance


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