SOAS University of London

School of Finance and Management

Public Sector Accounting

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 2 or Year 3
Taught in:
Term 2

This module aims to explore the theory and practice of public sector accounting in the UK, covering topics such as budgeting, accounting, auditing and finance of not-for-profit organisations. Students will be able to understand and apply key requirements of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) to specific areas of public sector accounting. The module will also highlight the differences and similarities between accounting for profit and not-for-profit organisations as provided for in IPSAS and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Apply basic principles of accounting to a public sector environment.
  • Understand some of the requirements of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards relating to assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses.
  • Prepare simple financial reports of public sector organisations
  • Explain the differences and similarities between public sector and private sector accounting
  • Understand the assumptions underlying project analysis in the public sector and be able to apply different investment analysis methods to public goods and services
  • Prepare and evaluate public sector budgets    
  • Understand how funding is raised and applied in the public sector

Method of assessment

This module is assessed by two in-class test assessments (30%) and one two hour examination (70%)

Suggested reading



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