Accounting (Govmnt)
There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

Governmental accounting differs significantly from the accounting used by other organizations, since the focus is on the provision of services, rather than earning a profit. Because of this change in focus, governments use funds to maintain better control of costs, while also formatting their financial statements differently and using a different basis of accounting. This course explains the intricacies of these differences, covering fund accounting, budgetary accounting, the comprehensive annual financial report, and much more. There is a special emphasis placed on more specific accounting issues with regards to claims accounting, landfill closure and postclosure costs, and nonexchange transactions. The materials are designed for financial professionals to use as a reference tool for recording governmental accounting transactions and generating financial statements.


Steven M. Bragg, CPA

Steven M. Bragg, CPA, is a full-time book and course author who has written more than 70 business books. He provides Western CPE with self-study courses in the areas of accounting and finance, with an emphasis on the practical application of accounting standards and management techniques. A sampling of his courses include the The New Controller Guidebook, The GAAP Guidebook, Accountants’ Guidebook, and Closing the Books: An Accountant’s Guide. He also manages the Accounting Best Practices podcast.

Steven has been the CFO or controller of both public and private companies and has been a consulting manager with Ernst & Young and an auditor with Deloitte & Touche. He holds an MBA from Babson College, a Master of Finance from Bentley College, and a BA from the University of Maine (summa cum laude).

Course Specifics

Accounting (Govmnt)
Jul 10, 2017
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • Recognize the entities responsible for formulating accounting standards as well as the information sources from which the standards draw from
  • Cite the organizational structure used by governmental accounting standards, noting application characteristics
  • Identify the types of fund accounting systems that may be operated and reported on by a government entity, noting the types of assets and liabilities within each fund and how they are classified

Chapter 2

  • Identify different types of funds
  • Recognize the overall accounting structure and components of a fund

Chapter 3

  • Identify the different basis of accounting, noting the characteristics of each type
  • Note how the accounting treatment for revenue varies, based on when revenue is received
  • Recognize the accounting for incurred but unmatured liabilities

Chapter 4

  • Identify different types of infrastructure assets, citing examples of each
  • Identify the types of costs that can be included in the cost of a capital asset
  • Note when interest costs should and should not be capitalized
  • Identify the stages of completion associated with the recognition of computer software
  • Recognize the various depreciation methods available for capital assets, noting the rules for intangible assets, works of art and historical treasures, and asset transfers
  • Recognize various indicators of asset impairment

Chapter 5

  • Identify the different types of long-term debt, noting how these liabilities should be properly classified, reported, and disclosed
  • Recognize the different types of current liabilities and how these obligations should be accounted for

Chapter 6

  • Identify the different budget types and controls that are used in governmental accounting, noting which funds that are more likely to have budgets associated with them
  • Note how an encumbrance is used and accounted for

Chapter 7

  • Recognize the accounting for common accounting transactions associated with capital assets, debt, encumbrance, interfund, inventory, and reimbursement

Chapter 8

  • Note the classifications and terminology used to track expenditures
  • Identify the components of net position that should be reported on the statement of financial position

Chapter 9

  • Recognize the importance of knowing the nature of a financial reporting entity for which financial statements are being prepared for
  • Identify the defining characteristics of a primary government as well as the composition of component units
  • Note the indicators of control over another entity

Chapter 10

  • Recognize the contents of the various components of the comprehensive annual financial report
  • Note how liquidity is applied in the statement of net position as well as the correct classification for sources of programs within the statement of activities
  • Choose the proper accounting treatment for issued debt
  • Note how a negative balance is treated in the restricted net position line item
  • Recognize the different categories used for program revenues
  • Note the formula underlying a balance sheet

Chapter 11

  • Note the accounting treatment and disclosures used for related party transactions, subsequent events and going concern considerations
  • Specify the proper accounting for the correction of an error
  • Identify a change in estimate, principle, and entity

Chapter 12

  • Note the topics that should and should not be covered in the notes to the financial statements
  • Recognize the circumstances under which an accounting policy should be disclosed
  • Note the order in which it is recommended to sequence the presentation of disclosures
  • Cite the disclosures needed when future revenues are sold

Chapter 13

  • Identify the circumstances under which a budgetary comparison should be presented
  • Recognize the composition and levels of budgetary control

Chapter 14

  • Recognize the types of funds that must present a statement of cash flows
  • Note the components of a cash flows statement as well as how a statement of cash flows is constructed
  • Identify the transactions that are associated with each of the classifications in a statement of cash flows

Chapter 15

  • Identify the defining characteristics and requirements for segment reporting
  • Recognize the circumstances under which discrete presentation is used in the financial statements

Chapter 16

  • Recognize the defining characteristics of a financial reporting entity and a component unit, noting the proper accounting requirements, reporting periods, note disclosures, and applicable presentation issues
  • Recognize the factors involved in designating a component unit as major

Chapter 17

  • Cite the circumstances under which a statistical section is included in a set of financial statements
  • Recognize the formulation of fair value for real and personal property as well as the subsequent reporting requirements
  • Note the reporting requirements for debt capacity information and which governments must include overlapping rates information in their financial statements
  • Recognize the different types of demographic and economic indicators

Chapter 18

  • Recognize the defining characteristics of fair value and the principles associated with the determination of fair value
  • Specify acceptable valuation techniques, citing an example of the types of costs that can be associated with a purchase
  • Identify the levels of input in the fair value hierarchy

Chapter 19

  • Cite an example of the criteria for determining whether risk has been transferred
  • Identify types of insurance transactions
  • Note the accounting and reporting requirements when a loss has been incurred

Chapter 20

  • Identify examples of the types of costs associated with landfill closure and postclosure activities
  • Note the proper accounting for a change in the estimated total current cost of landfill closure and postclosure care

Chapter 21

  • Identify types of nonexchange transactions, citing circumstances under which a government does not recognize a nonexchange transaction
  • Cite an example of a restriction associated with a grant
  • Note the accounting for a pass-through grant

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