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Fall 2010 - 61155 - PA391 - Public Financial Management

Instructor(s): Greenberg, Sherri
Unique Number: 61155
Day & Time: W 2:00 - 5:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.216/219
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Final Exam Information:December 9, 2010 - 9:00am - 12:00pm SRH 3.122
Course Overview

This course provides a basic understanding of the financial activities of governments at all levels in the United States. It is usually taken during the first year. The course acquaints students with the purposes, characteristics, processes, and operations of financial management systems and develops their capabilities to analyze financial operations, coordinate such operations with relevant public policies and programs, and effectively manage the financial resources of public entities. Topics in the course include: the economic, political, and administrative environment of financial management systems and operations; budgeting theory and practice--including program and performance budgets; accounting and internal control; financial reporting; auditing--financial and performance; debt management; treasury and cash management; and revenue/tax administration.

Section Description

This course provides an introduction to the theory and practical application of public financial management at the local, state and federal levels of U.S. government. The objectives are to enable students to have abilities in preparing budgets, analyzing financial operations, and understanding the link between finance, economics and public policy. The budget is the essence of public policy. Furthermore, we will study the inner relationships between the public and private sectors, and the affect on public financial policies, such as tax incentives and economic development.

The course will cover a variety of disciplines including: finance, economics, accounting, and human resources. In addition, the political and bureaucratic factors affecting public financial management will be scrutinized. Public financial management is a political animal! Actual public sector examples will be utilized including public pension system decisions. There will be flexibility according to student interests in the selection of individual and group projects.

Topics of specific interest are the following: (l) Budgeting – various types of operating and capital budgets (2) Public Finance – funding capital improvements and debt management (3) Public pension systems and investments – current practices and debates (4) Revenues – taxes and fees (5) Financial statement analysis (6) Procurement, contracting and purchasing.

Course Materials will include textbooks, material on the electronic reserves, articles, case studies and direct material from the professor. The class will consist of lectures, group discussions, group presentations, debates, and guest speakers.

Course Requirements: Several problem sets covering budgeting, financial statement analysis, debt management and revenue generation will be assigned throughout the semester. Several short papers in the form of memoranda will be due during the semester. Students will be able to choose their own course related topics. Each student will present one memo to the class. Examples of memoranda will be provided in class. In addition, students will participate in a group project involving a mock credit rating of an entity the group chooses. The criteria for credit ratings and case studies of credit ratings will be covered in class. The group project will have a written and an oral component. Class participation, oral presentations and group work will be important in this course. There will not be a mid-term but there will be an open book final exam.