The paper analyses the accounting, financial reporting and management control systems of the Italian public universities, in the light of the new legislation (Law 240/2010 and Decree 18/2012). This reform includes two important changes: the adoption of accrual accounting and the introduction of a management control system, both mandatory from 1st January 2014. The paper provides a detailed description of the current situation of Italian public universities, which allows to understand the reality in which the reform will be implemented and to evaluate whether universities have done appropriate efforts to realise this important accounting and managerial changes. For this purpose, an empirical analysis has been conducted, based on the results of a semi-structured questionnaire that was applied to the 67 Italian public universities during the first half of 2013. Survey results indicate that currently not many universities have budgeting and accounting reporting systems aligned with the new legislation. However, most of them have executed different types of efforts for the transition process and for the fulfillment of the 1st January 2014 deadline.
Keywords: Accrual accounting in public sector, management control in public sector, Italian Universities.