An Analysis on the Comprehension of Governmental Accounting Information Informed by the Budget Balance Sheet
This study replicates, in an adapted way, the studies of Kinnersley and Fleischman (2001), Hall Jr. (2001) and Athayde (2002), focusing on the understanding of the information produced by the governmental accounts. The objective of the study is to assess if the citizens – principal recipients of the information produced by governmental accounts – understand the information disclosed in the statements published by the public entities. In this study, it is assessed specifically the Budget Balance Sheet, aimed at testing if this statement is written in a language understandable by citizens, permitting them to follow up on the budget execution. For such, it used a questionnaire, followed up by a Budget Balance Sheet from a governmental institution, which was applied in the Metropolitan Region of Recife (PE), with citizens of an educational level above the average of the Brazilian population. After applying some statistical tests adequate for this type of analysis (Alpha of Crombach, Chi-Square Pearson and Fisher tests), it is concluded that the information produced by the public accounts are not clear for the majority of citizens, regardless of the schooling level. Even among those considered to have a good knowledge of accounts and governmental accounts, the degree of understanding of the reports produced by the public accounts is low.