Public Sector Accounting

Financial Times
Rowan Jones / Maurice Pendlebury  
Total pages
June 2010
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Public Sector Accounting
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Public Sector Accounting uses an integrated approach to the study of public sector accounting by linking accounting theory and practice for each of the main areas of financial accounting, management accounting and auditing. Examples from a range of Public Sector experiences are woven into the text to illustrate the issues involved.

The introduction of the book reflects managerial developments in the public sector, by giving a brief history of these in the UK and internationally then commenting on the adoption of quality assurance in the public sector.

The management accounting section discusses developments in the use of internal markets and compulsory competition and the more recent emphasis on public-private partnership and performance indicators and also explains the techniques of programme and zero-based budgeting and investment appraisal.

The financial accounting section updates and internationalises the discussion of financial accounting theory and regulation.

The final section of the book is on auditing has been updated with UK and international developments.


  • Clear writing style
  • Takes an integrated approach to public sector accounting
  • Includes examples from a range of public sector experience
  • Discussion Topics at the end of each chapter
  • Thoroughly updated to include coverage of vest value, resource accounting and budgeting and private finance initiative.

New to this Edition

  • Heavily revised to incorporate the fundamental changes made to Public Sector Accounting and it current standards
  • Extended coverage of differences and similarities between government, nonprofit, and for profit accounting.
  • Greater comparative understanding of government accounting on an international level.

Table of Contents




1 The nature of the public sector

            The nature of government

            Governance and public management

            Public finance

            Public money

            Accountants and the public sector

            Further reading

2 Performance measurement

            Non-financial performance measurement

            Challenges of performance measurement

            Further reading

3 Fundamentals of accounting

            Elements of accounting

            Bases of accounting

            National accounting and government budgeting

            Further reading

4 Budgetary policies and processes

            The rational control cycle

            Fiscal years

            Budgeting for inputs, outputs and outcomes

            Budgetary processes

            Further reading

5 Form and contents of budgets

            Organizational structures and programmed structures

            Capital budgets

            Line-item, incremental budgets

            Output measurement and outcomes

            Zero-base reviews

            Further reading

6 Budgetary control

            Central financial control

            Devolved forms of financial control

            Budget reporting

            Further reading

7 Costing

            Organizational units, programmes and products

            Pricing and reimbursement

            Incremental changes in output   


            Further reading

8 Financial reporting

            Form and content of published financial reports

            Accrual accounting special topics


            Conceptual frameworks


Back Cover

This book is about government budgeting, accounting and auditing technique, from an accountant's perspective, in the context of the nature of government, governance and public management, public finance and public money. It deals with the distinctive challenges of performance measurement, budgets and budgetary control, costing, financial reporting and conceptual frameworks, and special issues of audit in the public sector.

Generic examples are used throughout the book to illustrate the issues involved.

This edition is very different from previous editions in reflecting the fundamental changes in public sector accounting over the past generation, including a narrowing of the differences between government and business accounting.

Public Sector Accounting is the ideal choice for any student needing a clear, concise guide to the key issues of this complex, topical subject.

About the Authors

Rowan Jones is Professor of Public Sector Accounting at the University of Birmingham Maurice Pendlebury is Emeritus Professor of Accounting at Cardiff University.


Rowan Jones is a professor of Public Sector Accounting at the University of Birmingham


Maurice Pendlebury is a professor of Accounting at Cardiff Business School Cardiff University.

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