No.4, 2013


 Financial Accountability and Management Information for University Management and Higher Education Policy

 The movement toward performance reporting by higher education institutions (HEIs) has spread internationally, spurred by the need for universities to ensure quality in teaching and research and to disclose their information in order to have public accountability for society and taxpayers. At present, the type of information disclosed is largely financial or related to accounting. Therefore, this paper, focusing on the financial information of HEIs in Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom, explores the conditions that are necessary to satisfy the needs of information users. Also, the paper adopts a conceptual framework for financial reporting to examine the extent to which current financial information meets these conditions. The empirical results show that the practices in the university sector of the three countries do not always meet the six qualitative characteristics provided by the conceptual framework due to the specific organizational nature of HEIs.