Public Finance and Public Policy

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Course Number: 
GAFL 6510

Course Section:



  • MPA

Course Type: 

  • Core


  • Spring 2023

Course Format:

On-Campus Day(s): 
On-Campus Time: 
1:45 - 4:45 p.m.

On-Campus Location:

Course Description: 

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of accounting and budgeting for government and nonprofit organizations. The course is designed for students with little or no background in financial reporting, budgeting, and financial management. "Accounting and budgeting must be recognized as separate systems that must interact in a complementary manner if managers are to exercise control of the financial resources of their organizations" (Garner, 1991). Guided by the premise above, the course naturally divides into two parts: In the first, students are introduced to basic financial reporting concepts. The course will provide a foundation in the state and local government financial reporting model. Students will analyze Comprehensive Annual Fund Reports (the main filings required for state and local governments) and focus on the aspects and objectives that make reporting for governments unique. Students will develop a framework for evaluating performance and operating results of governments. In the second part of the course, students will focus on budgeting, which is central to the successful operation of government organizations. Government budgets are expressions of public policy and carry the authority of the law. The course examines budget formulation and development, forecasting, budget adoption, and budget evaluation. Students will be trained to determine whether organizations are effectively using their resources while meeting their legal requirements and social responsibilities.

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326