The literature on public accounting and management traditionally payed consid-erable attention to the programming, planning and reporting of the use of economic and financial resources. However, the effects that exogenous shocks - such as the first big financial, economic and fiscal crisis of the 21st century - exert on public finance and accounting institutions need to be better explored. In an attempt to fill this gap, this piece of research focuses on the case of Italian central state ad-ministrations, adopting the historical institutionalists’ theoretical framework about immediate and gradual institutional change. It relies on a documental analysis car-ried out on the main regulatory innovations introduced since the outbreak of the crisis to 2019, and on one author’s direct observation of the rules and systems placed at the centre of the study. What emerges is that, in the period of reference, the explored institutions considerably changed, and that their change only partially depended on the crisis. Specifically, the latter entered a process of gradual and in-cremental change that was already under way, triggering two main (European) reactions. The first one had the character of immediacy, while the other that of graduality. The evidence of the dynamism and non-static nature of the institutions of interest allows reflecting on relevant practical implications.
Keywords: Public finance and accounting, Institutional change, Economic and fiscal crisis, State planning and budgeting