Accounting is the book keeping that enables one to keep track of one’s assets, liabilities, capital, income and expenditure. In accounting, the public sector consists of the government, governmental organizations, parastatals and non-governmental organizations among others. Therefore, accounting of the aforementioned organizations is referred to as Public Sector accounting.
The main objectives of public sector accounting are:
- To determine the legitimacy of transactions and their compliance with the statues and accepted norms. Public sector disbursement should accord with the provisions of the appropriation Acts and Financial Regulations.
- Providing Evidence of Stewardship: The act of rendering stewardship is being able to account transparently and diligently for resources entrusted. Government operators are obliged to displace due diligence and sense of probity in the collection and disposed of public funds.
- Assisting Planning and Control: Mapping out plans prevents organizations from drifting. Control measures are adjusted to skillful planning plans of actions provide focus of activities which are being pursued. The incidence of unforeseen is built into plans so as to prevent or at least reduce corporate failures.
- Public sector establishment must act in accordance with the mandate theory of governance.
- Ensuring Objectivity and Timely Reporting: The users of public sector accounting such as the executives (President, Governors, Chairman of Local Government Council, Federal Ministers and State Commissioners, National Assembly, members of the public) are anxious to bridge their knowledge gaps of what the Government is doing. They will treasure prompt, timely and accurate statistics to evaluate the performance of Government.
- Evaluating the costs incurred and the benefit derivable
It is difficult to measure costs and benefits in financial terms in public sector organizations. The comfort of the citizens is the key and paramount issue. The analysis of cost-benefit assesses the economic and social advantages (i.e. benefit) and disadvantages/inconvenience (cost) of alternative of actions
This course is designed to introduce students to the basic aspects of public sector accounting including its meaning, scope, objectives, basis, units, processes and structure, the regulatory and professional framework of government accounting, sources of government revenue, pensions and pension fund accounting, treasury and expenditure control system, financial reporting, cash flow statement, value added statement, interpretation of government financial statement, International Public Sector Accounting Standards and standardization of Government accounts in Nigeria.
Upon completion of this course, it is expected that the students will be able to understand:
- The basic aspects of public sector accounting;
- The basis, units, processes and structure of public sector accounting;
- The regulatory and professional framework of government accounting;
- Sources of government revenue and treasury control accounting system;
- Treasury and expenditure control system;
- Pensions and pension fund accounting