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Course 2019-2020 a.y.

20514 - PUBLIC ACCOUNTING AND PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

GIO
Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 14

GIO (9 credits - II sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:
ALEKSANDRA TORBICA

Classes: 14 (II sem.)
Instructors:
Class 14: ALEKSANDRA TORBICA


Suggested background knowledge

To feel comfortable in this course, you should be familiar with some basics of financial accounting . No preliminary knowledge about public accounting is requested. Please contact course instructors if you need advice on materials about financial accounting.


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

In the public sector and international institutions, accounting, financial management and performance management systems are the fundamental tools for supporting decision making, programming and discharging accountability as to the use of public resources and the attainment of public goals. The course, also through a management game, aims at providing students with competencies and tools useful to (i) understand the specific and critical issues of budgeting and reporting in the public sector; (ii) read, analyze, interpret the relevant documents; (iii) be aware of their recent evolutions; (iv) use the financial management and performance management systems techniques according to public sector specificities. To this end, it compares budgetary and accruals accounting and presents performance measurement tools together with the principal issues concerning financing instruments and sources. The course also provides students with the fundamentals of performance measurement systems, uncover how to select appropriate measures and how to implement performance measurement system and use it in managing public and non governmental organisation. These competencies are relevant for both top government officials and external players (financial institutions, consultants, suppliers ).

CONTENT SUMMARY
  • Introduction to Accounting in the public sector.
  • Budgetary accounting: main principles and budgeting processes.
  • Accounting techniques: cash and commitment accounting.
  • Accruals accounting: main principles, technique and concepts.
  • Reading and analyzing accruals-based financial statements.
  • Pros and cons of different accounting systems in the public sector.
  • Introducing and implementing accruals accounting in the public sector: critical issues.
  • Pros and cons of different accounting systems in the public sector.
  • The goals of financial management in the public sector.
  • Funding and financing public investments.
  • Public Private Partnerships.
  • Cash Flow analysis.
  • Investment decisions.
  • The fundamentals of performance measurement in the public sector.

  • Main challenges and specificities for measuring performance in the public sector.

  • How to design appropriate indicators to measure performance at different levels of public sector activities.

  • How to incorporate and use performance information for managing public sector organizations.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Prepare, use and read a budget (in the form used by the main public organizations).
  • Discuss and interpret different political strategies in term of budget preparation.
  • Recognize, implement and analyze the existing public accounting basis.
  • Discuss, analyze and select different funding strategies in the public realm.
  • Perform and comment financial analysis.
  • Prepare and discuss financial plans based on innovative sources of funding.
  • Design and implement performance measurement systems.
  • Appreciate performance management issues in the public realm.
  • Solve performance management dilemma in the public realm.
  • Revise performance management systems at different levels.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Recognize the different use of budgeting information that can be done.
  • Be ready to discuss different accounting techniques and their meanings and implications for the public sector.
  • Comment budget and accounting document in a critical and technical way.
  • Evaluate different and funding options and support public administration in selecting specific solutions for new investments.
  • Implement performance management systems, considering public sector specificities and criticalities.
  • Judge public performance and discuss managerial implications of measurement and evaluation techniques.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)
DETAILS
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance). Guest lectures featuring high-profile individuals are organized throughout the course. Informative, and stimulating, these talks aim to open student’s eyes on the relevance of the topic discussed in class, support their professional development and help them build network of contacts.
  • Exercises (Exercises, database, software etc.) Throughout the course students engage in a exercises on public accounting, financial and performance management. The final aim is to foster active learning through immediate application of concepts discussed in class.
  • Case studies/Incidents (traditional, online). Case studies and incidents are regularly used to highlight the relevance of the contents discussed as we all as strengthen students’ ability to apply acquired knowledge to solve real life challenge.
  • Group assignments. Group assignment is overarching three pillars of the course (public accounting, financial and performance management) and it is based on a management game devided in three separate but interrelated parts. Students are asked to prepare the budget (in the form used by the main public organizations); prepare and discuss financial plans based on innovative sources of funding and design a performance measurement system of selected projects. The instructions are given at the beginning of the course and specific guidelines explained at the before each part. Students have approximately 2-3 weeks to work on each part.
  • Interactive class activities (Role playing, Business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls). Students have the chance to participate in a role playing discussion and simulations of financial analysis for public investments.  

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • x   x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  • x    
    ATTENDING STUDENTS
    1. Group assignment (40% of the final grade).

      Group project is based on the overarching three pillars of the course: public accounting, financial and performance management.

      • Students take the role of experts in local government who are required to:

        • Define strategies, actions and investments and prepare the annual budget.

        • Assess the financial feasibility.

        • Design a performance measurement system for selected projects in strategic areas of activity.

      • They are required to deal with an unstructured problem without a unique solution for which various positions can be argued. They must identify relevant information and organize this information effectively. The group assignment, through management game, enables students to discuss and interpret different political strategies in term of budget preparation, prepare and discuss financial plans based on innovative sources of funding and solve performance management dilemma in the public realm.Instructions and deadlines are given at the beginning of the course.

    2. Final exam (60% of the final grade), consisting of exercises and open questions aimed to assess students’ ability to apply the theoretical and analytical tools illustrated during the course. 
    3. Continuous learning test. Attending students’ continuous engagement in the course are assessed 3 times during the course through the “Continuous Learning Tests”. The “Continuous Learning Tests” are an effective way of providing attending students with ongoing feedback on their learning progress. Students must correctly answer at least 75% of the examination questions to pass the test. Students who successfully pass all the tests receive an extra point on their final grade.
    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Students’ assessment is based on one final written exam. It is made up of several open-ended questions referring to the concepts, models and cases contained in the textbooks and exam materials. 


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Textbooks:

    • R. JONES, M. PENDLEBUTY, Public Sector Accounting, Cardiff University, 2010, Financial Times Press, Pearson, 2010, 6th edition, ISBN-10: 0273720368 -ISBN-13: 9780273720362.
    • W. VAN DOOREN, G. BOUCKAERT, J. HALLIGAN, Performance Management in the Public Sector, 2015 Routledge, 2nd edition, ISBN 978 0 415 73810.

    Additional readings and other materials (i.e. lecture slides) are listed in the syllabus and made available in the Online learning space and in the Course Reserves.

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Textbooks:

    • R. JONES, M. PENDLEBUTY, Public Sector Accounting, Cardiff University, 2010, Financial Times Press, Pearson, 2010, 6th edition, ISBN-10: 0273720368 -ISBN-13: 9780273720362.
    • W. VAN DOOREN, G. BOUCKAERT, J. HALLIGAN, Performance Management in the Public Sector, 2015 Routledge, 2nd edition, ISBN 978 0 415 73810.

    Selected papers (downloadable from Bocconi library):

    • J. VAN HELDEN, Literature review and challenging research agenda on politicians’ use of accounting information, Public Money & Management, 2016, 36:7, 531-538.
    • N. HYNDMAN, M. LIGUORI, R.E. MEYER, et al., The translation and sedimentation of accounting reforms. A comparison of the UK, Austrian and Italian experiences, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 2014, 25(4), 388-408.
    • E. BRACCI, C. HUMPHREY, J. MOLL, et al.,  Public sector accounting, accountability and austerity: more than balancing the books?, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 2015, Vol. 28 Iss 6 pp. 878 – 908.
    • K. FRYER, J. ANTONY, S. OGDEN, Performance management in the public sector, International Journal of Public Sector Management, 2009, Vol. 22 Issue: 6, pp.478-498,https://doi.org/10.1108/09513550910982850.
    Last change 10/06/2019 18:08