SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2N425774
Module Leader Siobhan White
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Finance and Accounting
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Financial and Management Accounting

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to develop the students understanding of the differing accounting and auditing requirements of the major public sector organisations in the UK and Scotland. The course will study sources of funding and the distribution of finance for the major elements of the public sector; central government, local government and the NHS. Practical examples and financial statement preparation will illustrate the technical accounting issues involved. The course will also consider the impact of current developments and changes in legislation upon public sector services.


INTRODUCTION TO THE PUBLIC SECTOR- Financial reporting and accountability in the public sector. Government Funding. Users of Accounts/Needs of Users PUBLIC SECTOR AUDIT - Legislation. Current Audit Arrangements in Scotland and UK. Supreme Audit. Value for Money; Defined and Illustrated LOCAL GOVERNMENT - Introduction and Functions. Strategic Financial Planning. Budget Preparation. Sources of Revenue and Capital Finance. Revenue Account Preparation THE NHS - Financing and Functions. Recent Developments. Reporting Requirements. Accounting Requirements CENTRAL GOVERNMENT - Sources of Finance. Distribution of Finance. Explanation and Interpretation of Government Funds. Whole of Government Accounts.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to: 1. Critically understand the essential theories, principles and concepts of public sector accounting and financial management 2. Apply their understanding of the arrangements for financial reporting and accountability within the public sector to appropriate and practical scenarios 3. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of public sector audit theory and appraise the arrangements for public sector audit in the UK 4. Critically discuss the implications of current developments in the public sector upon the delivery of public sector services and the associated financial statements 5. Use appropriate and well developed skills for the gathering, evaluation and analysis of research 6. Communicate the results of their studies and other work accurately and reliably.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The theoretical concepts and practical applications of the subject will be taught in lectures and seminars. Teaching and learning will comprise 2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour seminar per week. Students will be introduced to theoretical concepts, principles and issues through lectures. Seminars will enable the students to deal with pre-set discussion and practical questions, will be staff facilitated and will be contextualised to relate the student groups to particular public sector organisations. The purpose of the seminars is to reinforce and extend individual and group learning from the foundations provided by the lectures and to develop appropriate and transferable skills. Supplementary tutorial/clinic sessions may be programmed to deal with further identified needs of students. Understanding will be further developed through directed study using interactive problem solving exercises, self-assessment opportunities to monitor progress and weekly reading. Feedback strategy - aims Students will be provided with feedback on all forms of assessed work within three weeks of submission. They will also receive feedback on all contributions to the module. The feedback that they receive is designed to: A: Facilitating the development of self-assessment; B: Encouraging dialogue; C: Clarifying good performance; D: Providing opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance; E: Delivering high quality information about your learning; F: Encouraging positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem; G: Providing information to teachers that can be used to help shape the teaching. In order to achieve these aims, the following strategies will be adopted by this module: A: Facilitating the development of self-assessment - The assessment requirements will be discussed in the introduction to the module. Students will be asked to reflect on the standard of their work (e.g. on coursework essays). B: Encouraging dialogue - Students are encouraged to discuss their comments with lecturers, arrange meetings with academic advisors to review performance and setting aside seminar time for such dialogue. C: Clarifying good performance - Students will be provided with information about marking criteria. They will also be provided with sample questions and solutions where appropriate in order to identify and clarify good performance. D: Providing opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance - Students may find it helpful to identify actions point based on the feedback they have received. E: Delivering high quality information about your learning - Feedback will be provided within 3 weeks of submission, covering strengths, weaknesses and corrective advice. F: Encouraging positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem - Feedback will be designed to encourage and be constructive. G: Providing information to teachers that can be used to help shape the teaching - Students, if they wish, may identify where they are having difficulties when they hand in their assignment GSBS will continue to use the advancement of GCU Learn as a blended learning tool through its teaching and learning as well as through engagement with students. The module team will ensure that all modules are GCU Learn enabled and with the support of the Learning Technologists at the cutting edge of development of online materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn to ensure student support and information sharing. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms.

Indicative Reading

Books and articles: . Van Helden, P. and Hodges, R. (2015 ). Public Sector Accounting and Budgeting for Non-Specialists . Palgrave Macmillan. . Flynn, N. (2012). Public Sector Management . 6th Edition, Sage Publications Ltd. . Burnham, J. and Horton, S. (2012.) Public Management . 1st Edition, Palgrave Macmillan. . Bandy, G. (2014). Financial Management and Accounting in the Public Sector . 1st Edition, Routledge. . Jones, R. and Pendlebury, M. (2010). Public Sector Accounting . 6th Edition, Prentice Hall. . Coombs, H.E. and Jenkins, D.E. (2001). Public Sector Financial Management , 3rd Edition, Cengage Learning. . Rogers, M. (1995). Public Sector Accounting , 1st Edition, Stanley Thornes . McCabe, W., McKendrick, J., and Rolfe, T. (2001) Financial Reporting and Accountability in the UK Public Sector . CIPFA. . Public Money & Management (Journal) . Financial Accountability & Management in the Public Services (Journal) Online sources: <> <> <>

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: Numeracy Skills - reflected in the manipulation of financial and other numerical date in examination and seminar financial statement preparation examples Learning Skills - reflected in the use of the library and internet activities to support student centred learning Communication Skills - reflected in seminar contributions C&IT Skills - reflected in acquiring, analysing and communicating information for coursework and research purposes Self Management Skills - reflected in the management of coursework and work during directed learning activities and seminars

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning 120.00
Assessment 44.00
Seminars 12.00
Lecture 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 30.00 35% Case study 2000 words
Exam 01 2.00 70.00 35% Unseen examination