Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Accounting and Finance


Increased demands on governments, along with pressure from limited resources of most countries, including Britain, Australia and New Zealand, in recent decades have resulted in significant reforms to the management of public sector resources and to the mechanisms by which governments are held financially accountable. Commercialisation, corporatisation and privatisation in the public sector are part of this reform. Most of the reforms have yet to find their way to the Islamic Republic of Iran which has devoted most of its energies since the Revolution in 1979 to establishing structures of government.

These reforms, which have been guided by the principles of economic rationalism, have been projected as promoting more efficient and effective management of resources and therefore better government for all. Criticisms of the reforms have emphasised their tendency to reduce assessments of performance to economic measures to the detriment of the traditional concerns of equity, access and social equality.

This thesis examines the elements of government financial management and control in the Islamic Republic of Iran which determine the dimensions of accountability which the Executive must fulfil and the role of accounting in demonstrating accountability. The thesis then seeks to determine the extent to which present reforms in the Australian public sector which have been designed to enhance accountability and management are relevant to Iran. The study shows that public sector accounting in Iran has not developed to the extent that it has in the economically developed countries. It also shows that there is substantial need for change in accounting systems in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It indicates that the implementation of the present government accounting techniques and procedures in the financial management of the Iranian government cannot adequately accomplish the several goals of the public financial program of the nation.

The study shows that the Islamic Republic of Iran can benefit from adopting the public sector accounting systems in Australia. It suggests that the use of accrual accounting by the Iranian Government would enhance public financial accountability and provides better information to managers for decision making purposes.