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A Historical Overview of Cost Accounting in Local Government

William C. Rivenbark
State & Local Government Review
Vol. 37, No. 3 (2005), pp. 217-227
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4355404
Page Count: 11
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A Historical Overview of Cost Accounting in Local Government
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Abstract

Recently, there has been a renewed interest in cost accounting in local government with the passage of Statement No. 34 by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board and the emphasis being placed on the adoption and implementation of performance measurement systems. This article discusses cost accounting in local government within a historical context. Although the utility of cost accounting has been recognized, it has never been implemented in local government in any systematic way. The focus on financial accountability of service delivery, the role of budget preparation and adoption, and the capacity requirement for managing an integrated general and cost accounting system are factors that may explain why cost accounting is not more widespread.

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