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Public Financial Management

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A Public Policy and Management Subject in the Management Functions Domain

Public Financial Management

This public policy and management subject under the Management Functions domain deals with budgeting and financial management in the public sector. Courses in this subject area aim to increase students’ competency in managing financial resources as part of the execution of public policy and to provide students with an understanding of the basic elements of public sector financial management. A key objective is to enhance students’ ability to read and understand important types of financial documents. These courses enhance students’ understanding of key elements of government budgeting such as goal setting, revenue generation, the allocation of expenditures and the evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of spending. Some courses in this area may also examine the “politics” of the budgeting process by examining the way that key players in the budget development process (including public sector organizations and interest groups) play their roles. In order to reach a solid understanding of how to interpret and understand financial information, students are often required to learn certain principles of accounting and accounting practice in these courses.


 Teaching and Advisory Topics

 Provisional Teaching Topics from Harvard MLD-401M

Structure of Financial Statements

Cash and Accrual Accounting Methods

Accounting for Major Balance Sheet and Revenue & Expense Items

Footnote Disclosures

Understanding Nonprofit Financial Statements

Accounting for Fixed Assets and Debt

Working Capital and Balance Sheet Management

Endowment and Investment Accounting

Financial Statement Analysis of Nonprofits

Ratio Analysis

Benchmarking Analysis

Statement of Functional Expenses

Government Financial Statements and Accounting Principles

Governmental Public Reporting

Budgeting in Nonprofit Organizations

 Courses, Reports, Concepts and References

  Courses addressing Public Financial Management
  Study Reports on Public Financial Management
  Concepts used in Public Financial Management
  Reference Collections in Public Financial Management

 Related Public Management Subjects

  Evaluation and Performance Measurement
  Strategy and Structure for Public Management
  Ethics and Accountability

 Additional Resources on Public Financial Management

  Additional Resources on Public Financial Management (with a focus on Ontario)
  Government and Institutional Links
  CCAF Documents on Oversight, Risk and Control
  Summaries of Canadian Initiatives prepared by Chris Balkaran in 2009
  Fraud Prevention Literature
  Government Audit and Fraud sites

Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance