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The Role of Heritage Assets in Public Financial Reporting: An assessment on the current status of financial reporting of heritage assets in Switzerland

Authors:

Christoph Schuler ,

Institute of Public Management, ZHAW School of Management and Law, Bahnhofplatz 12, 8400 Winterthur, Switzerland
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Sandro Fuchs,

Institute of Public Management, ZHAW School of Management and Law, Bahnhofplatz 12, 8400 Winterthur, Switzerland
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Andreas Bergmann

Institute of Public Management, ZHAW School of Management and Law, Bahnhofplatz 12, 8400 Winterthur, Switzerland
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Abstract

In the wake of public financial management reforms, academics and practitioners have discussed and elaborated the impact of accounting reforms on heritage assets for more than three decades. Both national and international standard-setting bodies and the scientific community were not able to provide a common definition for heritage asset in an accounting context. This article presents the most relevant definitions used in public financial management as well as it elaborates on the critical issues concerning recognition, measurement and disclosure of heritage assets. Based on publicly accessible documents from twenty Swiss states and selected interviews with accounting officers from these states this paper presents an overview of what importance is being given to heritage assets in public financial reporting in Switzerland. The empirical results indicate that despite modern public financial management regimes (i.e. HAM2 or IPSAS) transparency regarding heritage assets remains very limited. As a result, recommendations for, but not limited to Switzerland are presented, which offer a possible approach to increase the level of information available on heritage assets in financial reporting.

How to Cite: Schuler, C., Fuchs, S., & Bergmann, A. (2015). The Role of Heritage Assets in Public Financial Reporting: An assessment on the current status of financial reporting of heritage assets in Switzerland. Yearbook of Swiss Administrative Sciences, 6(1), 197–211. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ssas.88
Published on 31 Dec 2015.
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