SOAS University of London

School of Finance and Management

Public Financial Management: Financial Reporting (IPSAS)

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2020/2021
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Term 1

Please note this module will not be available after the 2019/20 session

Accounting for public sector organisations is a vital yet complex task. Like businesses, public organisations need to keep accurate records of the income and spending. This information is needed both for internal decision making and to demonstrate accountability to their stakeholders.

This course is designed to provide sufficient knowledge of public sector financial reporting practices to use the information produced and to contribute to debates on the development of reporting policy. We will concentrate on financial reporting using International Public Sectors Accounting Standards (IPSAS). Although these standards have now been adopted in some countries, many other countries are in the process of adoption or have implemented systems similar to IPSAS.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

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

  • Outline and discuss the theoretical framework and principles of financial reporting in a global context
  • Critically assess the core economic and accounting concepts in relation to specialised industries and contexts
  • Evaluate the application of the International Financial Reporting Standards to particular industries and contexts
  • Determine the disclosure of specific assets and liabilities in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards
  • Define the elements of company groups and discuss the financial reporting principles in relation to international companies
  • Analyse sustainability reporting and evaluate the disclosures of accounting for climate change
  • Discuss the importance of corporate governance and its relationship to corporate failures
  • Explain and contrast the international differences in external reporting on both financial and non-financial issues



This module consists of a 2-hour weekly lecture over 10 weeks of term plus a revision lecture in term 3 as preparation for the final examination. Students will be supplied with a syllabus with a breakdown week by week of required and additional reading. Reading materials are usually accessed electronically from the BLE and students should come to class prepared.


This module also has a weekly 1-hour tutorial where the questions posed by the tutor relevant to the lecture are explored and discussed by the students. Students also prepare and deliver a short presentation.

Total Work load:

Students on this module will have 3 taught hours each week. Additionally, adequate personal study time should be allocated for reading and class preparation.

Method of assessment

Assessment for this module is in three elements:

  1. One tutorial presentation at 10%
  2. One essay of 2,500 words at 30%
  3. One unseen 2-hour written examination at 60%

All elements except the presentation may be resubmitted.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules