Integrating non-financial performance indicators in budget documents: the continuing search of Dutch municipalities

Tjerk Budding*, Bram Faber, Martijn Schoute

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

248 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Although the topic of performance budgeting has received considerable attention in the literature, it is mainly explored in the field of public management and administration, and little research exists in the field of public sector accounting. The purpose of this paper is to provide more insight into how non-performance indicators are integrated in budget documents, thereby bridging the gap between the literature in both fields. Furthermore, the influence of potential drivers of differences in the incorporation of non-financial performance indicators are explored. Design/methodology/approach: This study starts with an overview of historical developments in Dutch local government for a period of 50 years. This is followed by an empirical assessment of the current incorporation of non-financial performance indicators based on a dataset of 107 municipal budget documents for FY2019. Findings: The authors' historical overview shows that several initiatives were employed to encourage municipalities to integrate non-financial performance indicators in their budget documents. A search to connect policy and means can be observed, which has not developed linearly over time, but mostly in reaction to major changes in national legislation. The authors find a large variation among the municipalities in their current incorporation of non-financial performance indicators. Contrary to theoretical expectations, output indicators (and not outcome indicators) are most frequently incorporated. Furthermore, the authors find that more indicators are incorporated if a municipality is larger, more willing to innovate and if it has less financial resources. Originality/value: This article contributes to the understanding of how to incorporate non-financial performance indicators in public sector financial statements. To the best of authors’ knowledge, this is an area that is not explored before.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-66
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Budgets
  • Dutch municipalities
  • Performance budgeting
  • Performance indicators

Cite this