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From Governmental Accounting to National Accounting: Implications on the Portuguese Central Government Deficit


  • Maria Antónia Jesus


  • Susana Jorge

    (Faculdade de Economia da Universidade de Coimbra)


Based on the relevant differences between Governmental Accounting (GA/microeconomic perspective) and National Accounting (NA/macroeconomic perspective) this paper examines the main adjustments made in Portugal to the General Government Sector data required to convert Governmental Accounts into National Accounts. It also assesses the impact of those adjustments on the Central Government deficit, the largest share in the Portuguese public deficit. Following mostly a qualitative research methodology, the empirical study is based on interviews to officials preparing NA and on several documental sources. The purpose is to validate the major data adjustments from GA into NA regarding Central Government, while, in addition, assessing their impact using data from April 2008 Excessive Deficit Procedure notification, covering the 2004-2007 period. The main findings indicate that differences concerning the accounting basis are the most relevant and that the subsequent adjustments have a considerable impact on the Portuguese Central Government deficit. This research points therefore to the need for more convergence between GA and NA, namely with respect to the transactions recognition criteria in order to use a common accounting basis, and for a complete and coherent reporting information system in GA.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Antónia Jesus & Susana Jorge, 2010. "From Governmental Accounting to National Accounting: Implications on the Portuguese Central Government Deficit," Notas Económicas, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, issue 31, pages 24-46, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:gmf:journl:y:2010:i:31:p:24-46

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oecd, 2002. "OECD Best Practices for Budget Transparency," OECD Journal on Budgeting, OECD Publishing, vol. 1(3), pages 7-14.
    2. Steven Keuning & Dick van Tongeren, 2004. "The relationship between government accounts and national accounts, with special reference to the netherlands," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(2), pages 167-179, June.
    3. Olov Olson & Christopher Humphrey & James Guthrie, 2001. "Caught in an evaluatory trap: a dilemma for public services under NPFM," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 505-522.
    4. Bos, Frits, 2008. "Uses of National Accounts; History, International Standardization and Applications in the Netherlands," MPRA Paper 9387, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Antónia Jorge de Jesus & Susana Margarida Jorge, 2012. "Governmental Accounting versus National Accounts: Implications of different accounting bases on EU member-States Central Government deficit/surplus," Working Papers Series 2 12-01, ISCTE-IUL, Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy


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