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The integration of systems of planning, programming, budgeting and accounting, within a complex organization, has long been an ideal of public administration. Of the many obstacles to integration, the absence of a common language, a common basis for gathering and presenting data, has been paramount. The budgeteer speaks in the language of executive and congressional budget review. The accountant speaks of journals, ledgers, and specialized reports. The planners and programmers also have their own and less disciplined or rigid language. New systems, such as the Bureau of the Budget's Planning, Programming and Budgeting, impose an entirely new language on the existing systems. Yet, the basic data for each is fundamentally the same, and only the forms of expression, presentation, and analysis change. A Management Accounts Structure can provide a common framework for all systems, and thus achieve continuity of data processing and presentation through each phase of the integrated system.
Public Administration Review © 1966 American Society for Public Administration