This paper discusses the application of computerization to government budgeting and accounting processes, and presents a framework for planning a computerized government accounting and budgeting system for economies in transition and developing countries. Its central premise is that the broad technical requirements of government budgeting and accounting are similar for all countries and a core system can be specified to meet these requirements. Such a core system would meet basic needs for most countries but aspects would need to be tailored to suit particular needs and the rate of implementation would depend on the capacity of individual countries.
The methodology involves, first, a functional analysis of business processes involved in government fiscal management. Second, the functional analysis is used to define a general information architecture, which is derived by an analysis of the strength of information linkages among the business processes. Finally, the information architecture provides a basis for defining a general systems architecture, which can be used for the design and development of application software--or the selection of existing software packages that meet the system requirements.
On the basis of these specifications, it is suggested that a core government budgeting and accounting system could be developed to meet the central needs of government financial management in economies in transition or developing countries. The case for developing such a system is strongest for the economies in transition, where, in most cases, completely new financial management systems have to be put in place quickly. If a core system were available, it could reduce the development costs of introducing government financial management systems, not only for all of the economies in transition, but also for developing countries.