Adoption of Sri Lanka Public Sector Accounting Standards in State Universities: Analysis of Benefits and Challenges: A Case Study of University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
In recent years, the introduction of Sri Lanka Public Sector Accounting Standards (SLPSAS) and its adoption to the state university system has become a topic to be discussed and debated. Sri Lanka Public Sector Accounting Standards were embraced by standard setters and policy makers upholding its marvelous benefits in the area of transparency and accountability which protect the public interest. However, adopting SLPSAS is not a quick task but have to face many challenges to achieve objectives. Therefore, the aim of this study is to contribute to some scholarly views on the benefits and challenges in adopting Sri Lanka Public Sector Accounting Standards to the university system with the perception of Bursars and Auditors of University of Peradeniya and its affiliated three Postgraduate Institutions, Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture, Postgraduate Institute of Science and the Postgraduate Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences. Research objectives of this study are to identify the benefits and challenges in implementing Sri Lanka Public Sector Accounting Standards within the university system. The research questions are what are the benefits in implementing Sri Lanka Public Sector Accounting Standards and what are the challenges faced by financial officers in implementing Sri Lanka Public Sector accounting standards. An attempt was made to answer them by a survey design collecting data by using a five-point Likert Scale Type Questionnaire. A sample of 30 Bursars and Auditors carders attached to University of Peradeniya was taken into consideration. Structured questionnaire and direct interviews were conducted to collect primary data and annual reports, financial statements, audit reports and three volumes of Public Sector Accounting Standards were used to gather secondary data. The analysis was done by using IBM Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive statistics were used mainly in analyzing data. Findings of the study said that enhancement of comparability of financial statements over different periods and different entities with similar nature is the main advantage to be concerned. The most critical challenge is the lack of training. Perception of the Bursars and Auditors with regard to implementation of Sri Lanka Public Sector Accounting Standards to the university system, is positive. The implication of this findings is that feedback from practitioners should be taken to amend or adjust Sri Lanka Public Sector Accounting Standards to Sri Lankan context by the relevant authorities and standard setters. Therefore, this study recommends to arrange more awareness and training programmes with practical sessions to the relevant carders. This piece of literature is useful for potential researchers to make the findings generalization with the wider aspects and Standard setters can use them to make the standard more effective.
Keywords: Accountability, Perception, Bursars and Auditors, Sri Lanka Public Sector Accounting Standards, public interest