Public Financial Management
Public financial management (PFM) involves the administering, leveraging and optimizing of government fiscal resources. In this sense, PFM draws on several disciplines including economics, accounting, political science and finance. This course can be broken down into three sections: expenditure policy, revenue policy and financial condition analysis. The course begins with the expenditure of fiscal resources for day-to-day activities through the operating budgeting process. It then proceeds to capital budgeting which involves spending on long-lived assets like roads, buildings and bridges. Within capital budgeting the course delves into the ways federal, state and local governments finance their capital activities mainly through the sale of treasury and municipal securities. Following the expenditure topic, the course focuses on the myriad ways governments raise revenues including a discussion of income, sales and property taxes as well as grants and various user fees. The final section details the manner in which one can assess a government’s financial condition. This section involves analyzing government financial statements and thus relies on the application of financial and accounting principles to a government’s financial reports.