Over recent years, the Italian University System has been handling a phase of deep changes, which have had significant impact on its mission and on the way it operates. The most important of these changes have been to the organisation of universities, their recruitment procedures and in terms of improvements to the quality and efficiency of the university system itself. In this perspective, the objective of this research was to carry out a critical analysis of the process of change, with special reference to improving efficiency by making the transition from cash-based accounting to accrual accounting. In order to achieve this objective, the starting point was the legislation of reference that sets out the terms for the move to financial accrual accounting. A comparative analysis was then carried out at an international level, with the purpose of highlighting the strengths and weaknesses identified during the implementation of these new procedures within the public field. This was followed by an analysis of the details of the theory defining the accounting principles to be used in the process of preparing university’s financial statements. Finally, the study identified the main critical points relating to implementation of the new accounting system, offering, at the same time, several thoughts concerning possible subsequent analyses on this topic.
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