From an accounting standpoint, the recent federal reform is based on the standard costs’ determination. However, to date, only 27% of the Italian local authorities have a management cost accounting system that, in theory, is able to calculate the standards. The aim of this paper is to verify if a local authority with a management cost accounting system based on cost centres is able to determine the services provided standard costs. To achieve this goal, the article carries out a case study analysis. The research confirmed that the effective identification of objective and, above all, coherent measurements with local realities is very difficult even with the presence of a management cost accounting system providing a proper basis for calculating standard costs. The cost standard determination requires a mature application of management cost accounting for cost centres or activities based, which, to date, most local authorities did not develop.
Keywords: Standard cost, management accounting system, local authorities