School of Business and Management

BUSM076 Public Financial Management and Accounting


1 (2017/18)



Module organiser

Professor Sukhdev Johal

Module overview

This module provides understanding of the financial development and trajectory of central government finances in the advanced economies. The first half of this module will introduce students to the challenges facing governments in the advanced economies, and in particular, that of sustaining deficit financing. How have the components of central government revenues changed over time relative to expenditures in GDP and the nature of accumulated sovereign debt (roll-over timings and repayments schedule)? Students will examine the political context of public budgeting. We shall explore how the policy shift towards macro-prudential management of these economies has impacted not only on monetary policy, but also on public spending and cutback management, nationally and at regional and local levels of government. The module examines the link between changing budgetary politics and pressure to develop innovative financial vehicles, as well as exploring some of the medium-term financial risks to which these innovations can unintendly give rise. The second half of this module will focus on the importance for public management of reforms in accounting systems which require a shift toward resource-based and accrual-based accounting. We examine the impact on managers' accountability for public expenditure of the convergence of public sector with corporate international financial reporting standards (IFRS) and role of resource-based auditing . What are some of the implications of adoption “corporate” financial accounting and performance key financial and non-financial KPIs? We examine public-private partnerships such as the UK's Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) for financing public sector capital projects, and issues of risk transfer and cost-effectiveness. We will consider changes financial practices and reporting in sub-national public agencies (local authorities, health care, policing, etc), the possibilities in some countries for bond-financing for sub-national agencies, and their implications on their financial stability and organisational dynamics.


100% coursework (30% critical essay and 70% analytical essay)

Indicative reading list

  • Bandy G, 2011, Financial management and accounting in the public sector, London: Routledge.

  • Bergmann A, 2008, Public sector financial management, London: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall.
  • Buchanan, J, Froud, J Johal, J and Williams, K (2009) Undisclosed and unsustainable: problems of teh UK national business model. CRSC working paper no 75  
  • Broadbent, J, Loughlin, R and Haslam, C The Private Finance Initiative: Saviour, Villain or irrelevance?, Institute for Public Policy Research,,%20Villain%20or%20Irrelevance.pdf
  • Connolly, C and Hyndman, N Accruals accounting in the public sector: a road not always taken, Management Accounting Research Vol. 22 (1): 36–45
  • Haslam, C and Mariott, N (2006) Accounting for reform: Funding and transformation in the four nation's hospital service
  • Haslam, C and Andersson, T, Tsitsianis, N (2012) Accounting for the financialized UK and US national Business Model, Critical Perspectives on Accounting (forthcoming)
    HM Government (2005) Better Accounting for the Taxpayer’s Money. The Governments Proposals: Cm 2929
  • Jones R. (1998) ‘The Conceptual Framework of Resource Accounting.’ Public Money and
    Management, Vol.18, No.2, pp. 11-16.
  • Hellowell, M and Polllock, A.M (2009) The Private Financing of NHS hospitals: Politics, Policy and Practice, Institute of Economic Affairs
  • Perrin J (1998) ‘From Cash to Accruals in 25 Years’ Public Money and Management, Vol.18,
    No.2, pp. 7-10.
  • Power M, 1999, The audit society: rituals of verification, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Prowle M, 2009, Managing and reforming modern public services: the financial management dimension, London: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall.
  • Rubin IS and Kelly J, 2005, Budget and accounting reforms, in Ferlie E, Lynn LE jnr and Pollitt C, eds, 2005, The Oxford handbook of public management, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 563-590.
  • Shah A, ed, 2007, Budgeting and budgetary institutions, Washington DC: World Bank,
  • Schick A, 1998, A contemporary approach to public expenditure management, Washington DC: World Bank Institute.
  • Schick A, 2003, The role of fiscal rules in budgeting, OECD journal on budgeting, 3, 3, 7-34.
  • Schick A, 2007, Performance budgeting and accrual budgeting: decision rules or analytic tools?, OECD journal on budgeting, 7, 2, 109-138.
  • Wehner J, 2009, The case for Congressional budgeting, Public administration review, 71, 3, 349-351.
  • Wildavsky A and Caiden N, 2004, The new politics of the budgetary process, 5th edn, New York: Pearson/Longman
  • Statistics -