Government accounting can refer to the various accounting systems used by the public sector. In the United States, for example, the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) describes federal accounting standards while the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) describes state and local government standards. While the private sector has the goal of obtaining a profit, public sector agencies have a variety of goals, which are reflected in the financial reports. Governmental financial statements must also be accompanied by required supplementary information (RSI). The RSI compares the actual expenses compared to the original budget created at the beginning of the fiscal year.
Master’s programs in Governmental Accounting prepare students for successful careers in government financial management. Designed for prospective CPAs, practicing CPAs, MPAs, and accounting students, these programs focus on developing strong communications and decision-making skills. The curriculum takes a broad look into accounting, financing, and operational needs of governmental entities. Program combine core courses in governmental accounting, budgeting, public sector auditing, information systems technology, and public financial management with electives featuring capital budgeting, management control in not-for-profit organizations, and infrastructure financing and strategy. Graduates work in all levels of government and the non-profit sector.