THE NEW CHALLENGES FOR PUBLIC AUDIT
This research was carried out in order to investigate the new challenges for public audit in consequence of the recent public accounting changes, specifically the adoption in Portugal of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), because the New Public Management (NPM) implies a new model of public management, PURSUING a public sector with more transparency and accountability (Hood, 1991; Dunleavya & Hood, 1994; Barzelay, 2001; Wiesel & Modell, 2014). Thus, the purpose of this research is to demonstrate the need to design strategies, principles and challenges to the courses offered by Higher Education Institutions (HEI), particularly the Bachelor of Accounting and the Master of Accounting of the School of Technology and Management of the Guarda Polytechnic Institute (in Portuguese, ESTG-IPG), to answer to job market of the public entities, in general, and students and teacher’s needs, in particular.
On the one hand, as result of the entry into force on January 1, 2010 of Decree Law nº 158/2009, of 13 July (MFAP, 2009), which approved the new Portuguese Accounting Standards System for the private sector and revoked the Official Accounting Plan, approved by Decree Law nº 410/89, of November 21 (MF, 1989), Portugal adheres to the European model of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). On the other hand, the Official Plan of Public Accounting for the public sector, approved by Decree Law nº 232/97, of September 3 (MF, 1997), will adheres to the IPSAS issued by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) in a near future. To attend this globalization in terms of accounting, Portugal also harmonizes the national legislative system of auditing through the transposition of the Directive 2014/56/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 amending Directive 2006/43/EC on statutory audits of annual accounts and consolidated accounts (EC, 2014) adhering to the model of International Standards on Auditing (ISA) issued by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), not only for public-interest entities, but for all entities.
Thus, methodologically, this research relied on a two-track approach. The first takes the form of an editorial review and argument, based on the Portuguese and European legal regime of accounting and auditing and the literature review. The second takes the form of a case study method involving a profound knowledge of the Bachelor of Accounting, approved by Order nº 13997/2012, of October 26 (IPG, 2012), that revised the Order nº 21638/2006, of October 24 (IPG, 2006), and the Master of Accounting, approved by Order nº 14928/2011, of November 3 (IPG, 2011), that revised the Order nº 4351/2008, of February 19 (IPG, 2008), of the ESTG-IPG.
The results of this research allow us to conclude that the Bachelor of Accounting and the Master of Accounting must design new strategies, principles and challenge to respond, on the one hand, to study cycle's generic objectives, and on the other hand, to employment needs in Portugal. Indeed, this research identifies a case study that highlights the strategic approaches followed in the recognition of the importance of the legal support to make periodic syllabus revision and updating, as well as strategies which will increase the engagement of students and teachers, at internal level of the HEI, and the society in general, at external level.