Accounting Information System and Organizational Change: An Analysis in “First Mover” Public Universities

Elisa Bonollo, Simone Lazzini, and Mara Zuccardi Merli

Abstract This chapter aims to investigate the role of accounting information system in supporting the adoption of accrual accounting in public universities and its main effects on the organization. The study is focused on Italian public universities, with a specific reference to the accounting management of research projects. The treatment of the research projects is particularly interesting because of their relevance in the university budget and their effects on the whole organization (e.g. on the delegation system). Therefore, the configuration of the new accounting information system of universities is not a mere technical problem but involves organizational changes. The research is based on a comparative case study of two Italian public universities (Universities of Genoa and Pisa) relating to the role of the accounting information system in supporting the research project accounting and in affecting their organization (in terms of competences and responsibilities).

Keywords Accounting information system • Public organizations • University

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