Programme And Module Handbook
Course Details in 2024/25 Session

If you find any data displayed on this website that should be amended, please contact the Curriculum Management Team.

Module Title LH Public Sector Accounting and Governance
SchoolBirmingham Business School
Department Accounting
Module Code 07 37252
Module Lead James Brackley
Level Honours Level
Credits 20
Semester Semester 1
Restrictions None
Contact Hours Lecture-32 hours
Tutorial-2 hours
Guided independent study-166 hours
Total: 200 hours
Description This module covers Financial Accounting, Auditing, Governance, and Management Accounting in non-business contexts. The central theme of the module is the management of public money and governance in the public interest.

The module is split into two parts; firstly, public governance, which includes public sector financial accounting, standard setting, audit, and corporate governance in the public sector at both the national and transnational level. Second, public management, which builds on student knowledge of management accounting in the private sector to explore the specific challenges in not for profit contexts.

The module draws on case examples of transnational governance such as the EU, the IMF and World Bank in reforming accountability and governance internationally, and national level governance from the UK context such as parliamentary reporting and scrutiny, the UK Combined Code on corporate governance, and public sector specific regulation such as Freedom of Information and charities legislation. It goes on to cover the adoption of accrual accounting and IPSAS accounting standards, national accounts, and the impact of austerity at the national and transnational level.

The module goes on to look at the importance of budgeting, performance measurement and management, and audit outside of central government and at the local level. The module draws on examples from local government, healthcare, education, and other areas of the public sector including not for profit organisations to investigate historical developments such as New Public Management and austerity at the operational level.

Reference will be made to the UK, EU, the Middle East, and to developments and reforms across developed and developing economies.

Theoretically the module draws on characterisations and critiques of New Public Management reform in a post-austerity context, notions and critiques of the ‘audit society’, and considers broader conceptions of ‘social value’ in not for profit contexts. Students are invited to engage in broader theoretical discussions and to investigate specific case examples through the course.
Learning Outcomes By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • Discuss and critically evaluate the role of transnational organisations in the governance of public money internationally;
  • Discuss and critically evaluate cash vs accrual accounting, financial reporting and standard setting under the IPSAS regime;
  • Discuss and critically evaluate audit practices, including ‘value for money auditing’, in specific public sector contexts;
  • Discuss and critically evaluate budgetary practices in specific public sector contexts
  • Critically evaluate ‘performance’ and ‘performance measurement practices’ in specific public sector contexts;
  • Demonstrate an awareness of Public finance in the UK and internationally, and be able to discuss and critically evaluate private sector management and accounting techniques in a range of public sector contexts;
Assessment Methods & Exceptions Assessment:
Individual essay - 2,500 words (70%)
A group presentation - 250 word abstract plus Q&A (30%)
Reading List