Identify factors used to quantify the financial health of the public entity.

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Online Course Syllabus

PA410 Public Finance

Important Notes:

This document provides an overview of expectations for this online course and is subject to change prior to the term start. Changes may also occur during the term due to faculty or SPS Distance Learning course updates. Some links may only be active once the term starts.

For this course you must check the Regis Bookstore: http://www.efollett.com for the most current online course material information.

Course Description | Prerequisites | Course Outcomes Course Materials | Grading Criteria | Assignments

Course Description

PA 410 Public Finance introduces major topics in public finance essential for understanding how public financial administrators plan, implement, and monitor budgets, manage cash flows from revenues and for expenditures, finance government capital investments, and analyze and control risks

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Prerequisites

Although there are no prerequisites to this course, students are assumed to possess some familiarity with basic financial principles.

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Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to: Describe the role of the public financial administrator.

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Demonstrate an understanding of public-sector, fund accounting and the budgeting processes.

Summarize concepts and sources of public revenues; including: administration, evaluation, and forecasting.

Discuss the governmental functions associated with expenditure administration, including: sources, procurement, and internal controls.

Identify strategies for improving the management of short-term resources. Explain the concept of capital budgeting, including: cost benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, and competitive analysis.

Describe the purpose of risk management and the elements of a viable risk-management program.

Identify factors used to quantify the financial health of the public entity.

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Course Materials

Required Text

Reed, B.J., and John W. Swain. Public Finance Administration , 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, California, Sage Publications, Inc.

Electronic Reserves

Refer to the course content for information regarding articles on Electronic Reserves.

Course Outline

Week 1: Introduction to Public Finance Administration and Public Accounting Week 2: Public Budgeting and the Strategic Planning Process

Week 3: Revenue Administration and Forecasting Week 4: Expense Administration and Forecasting

Week 5: Administration of Short-term Resources and Investment Portfolios Week 6: Capital Budgeting and Debt Administration

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Week 8: Course Wrap-Up

Note: Course outcomes for each week are located in the Week-by-Week area of this course.

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Grading Criteria

Assignments will be evaluated on accuracy of information, coherence and clarity of

presentation, critical thinking, comprehensiveness, creativity, meeting of deadlines, and quality of research. Additionally, the depth and breadth of knowledge gained and evidence of

reflection thereon are important performance criteria.

Your understanding of course content will be analyzed using the following activities: 1. Forum Participation = 25% of grade

2. Weekly Assignments = 50% of grade 3. Course Project = 25% of grade

Total possible score is 100 points. A letter grade will be assigned according to the University Grading System, described in Regis Policies and Procedures.

Please note: Forum discussions and/or written assignments may involve the disclosure of personal opinions about organizations. It is expected that all participants, students and faculty alike, will hold any such information in confidence.

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Graded Activities

1. Forum Participation– 25% of Grade

Weekly participation in Forum with students and the facilitator is required. You will be instructed to answer questions or share your perspectives on selected topics through the Forum. It is important to respond to the requests during the designated time frame. The length of each response will vary depending on the nature of the question. Responses should be brief, yet complete enough to clearly present your thoughts.

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• Thoughtful and meaningful insights / questions. • Cohesive and relevant content.

• Sharing of work experiences. • Tolerance of another's opinions.

FERPA Privacy Statement

Please understand that although the Forum is a protected environment, it may be viewed by faculty, Distance Learning staff and other experts who are working with Regis to

provide the highest quality online courses.

2. Weekly Assignments - 50% of Grade

You will be assigned a written, weekly assignment. These assignments should be emailed to the facilitator, not posted on the Forum. Save your work by identifying your name and week of the assignment (e.g., jones_wk1.wpd).

Papers should be double-spaced, with pages numbered. The material should be clearly organized with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Proof your papers to ensure correct spelling, grammar, conciseness and clarity. Refer to the Writing Guidelines, under Regis Policies and Procedures, for additional information.

Grades by Email: In order to receive your grades by Email, please send your facilitator an email that grants your permission to email you your grades. If you do not send the email with your express permission, our facilitator will not be able to email your grades to you and you will have to wait until they are sent in the postal mail

3. Final Course Project - 25% of Grade

The final course project is an opportunity to organize many of the concepts you learned during this course into one document. It is a chance to reflect upon the body of material learned and to assemble the information together into one report. The project should be emailed to the facilitator, not posted on the Forum.

As with the weekly assignments, final projects should be double-spaced, with pages numbered. The material should be clearly organized with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Proof your papers to ensure correct spelling, grammar, conciseness and clarity. Refer to the Writing Guidelines, under Regis Policies and Procedures, for additional information.

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Online Course Assignments PA410

Week: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Course Structure

This course is organized around an eight-week program. Weekly outcomes, assignments, and critical information are organized week-by-week. Typically, each week includes a reading assignment, forum submittal, internet research, and e-mail assignment.

Online weeks correlate to a 7-day work week. Each week's work begins on a Sunday. Week One begins on the first day of the term, which is always a Monday. The course ends on Saturday of the eighth week.

Weekly Responsibilities

1. Reading Assignments

Read the online course notes as found in the Week-by-Week section by Sunday of each week, and complete the weekly textbook and supplemental readings.

2. Forum Participation

Weekly participation in Forum with students and the facilitator is required. You will be expected to post at least one original message in response to one of the weekly Forum questions and at least one meaningful reply to someone else's Forum message. It is important to respond

during the designated time frame. The length of each response will vary depending on the nature of the question. Responses should be brief, yet complete enough to clearly present your thoughts. Generally, by Wednesday of each week, participate in the Forum discussions, read other student postings, and reply, when appropriate, to their postings.

It is expected that students will post comments and feedback on the postings of classmates and/or the facilitator on a regular basis. In addition to assigned postings, students may initiate dialogues on current events and other topics relevant to the class. An interesting, lively and fun Forum is definitely an important goal for this class! Differences of opinion are encouraged; however, discussions must maintain an atmosphere of respect and support. Active

participation by each student is the goal!

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A weekly Internet assignment is described in the week-to-week section. You are expected to research the specified website and a corresponding site of your own choice. Then, you are to discuss your findings and insights and to share relevant experiences with the class by

Wednesday of each week.

4. Weekly Written Assignments

Save a copy of any assignments for yourself and then e-mail your assignment to your

Facilitator by Friday of each week. E-mail a short note outlining the topics you understand the best, as well as questions about any concepts that are giving you trouble.

(Note – In week seven you are asked to attend a government meeting and to write a follow-up summary. In order to avoid any complication for completing the assignment, you should consult the planning calendar of your local or state government at your earliest convenience.)

5. Course Project

Throughout this course you will be comparing and contrasting a local or state government of your choice to the City of San Diego . Information that you and your classmates discover will be presented and discussed in the weekly forums. The final project is to organize your week-to-week research about your selected government and to prepare a six- to eight-page, double-spaced “Financial Review and Status Report.” (A sample report for the City of San Diego can be found at http://clerkdoc.sannet.gov/RightSite/getcontent/local.pdf?

DMW_OBJECTID=09001451800b66b4; however, the course project is quite abbreviated in comparison.)

For purposes of this project, you will “role play” as your government's financial manager. As the manager, you have the responsibility of communicating periodically the financial condition and important financial milestones of your government to the public. The “Financial Review and Status Report” is how your government has decided to accomplish this goal. As a minimum, the report should include discussion about budgetary issues, revenues and

expenditures, capital budgeting achievements and plans, economic forecasts, and changes in financial condition.

Week-by-Week

Week1: Introduction to Public Finance Administration and Public-Sector Accounting Reading

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Chapter 1, Introduction, pp. 1-10

Chapter 3, Public-Sector Accounting, pp. 20-53 Electronic Reserve: none

Assignments

On the first day of the course: familiarize yourself with the website and post an introduction on the Forum that includes:

• Your name,

• City where you live, • Email address,

• Occupation/professional interests and aspirations, and • Expectations of the course.

Check the Forum for opening messages from your facilitator.

Email Assignment #1: Prepare a two-page, double-spaced paper describing what you know about the subject of public financial administration. Describe where in your work experience you gained this knowledge, and describe what your experience is or has been in the public sector. Include specific examples, if any. Submit the paper by email to your instructor by Wednesday of week 1.

Other Assignments (two bullets follow):

• Self assessment exercise (as assigned by facilitator) • Alternative email assignment (as assigned by facilitator) Forum Activities

See the Week by Week for your Forum discussion and internet research assignments. ^ top

Week 2: Public Budgeting and the Strategic Planning Process Reading

Chapter 2, Budgeting and Finance Administration, pp. 11-19.

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• Rivenbark, William C., "Strategic Planning and the Budget Process – A Survey of Municipal Government", Government Finance Review, October 2003.

• Christensen, Peter, Jeff McElravy and Rowan Miranda, "What's Wrong with Budgeting,” Government Finance Review, October 2003.

• Calia, Roland, Salomon Guajardo and Judd Metzgar, "Best Practices in

Budgeting: Putting NACSLB Practices into Action,” Government Finance Review, April 2002.

• Sharp, Terry, “Linking Performance Measurement to Budgeting” Government Finance Review, April 2001.

Assignments

Check the Forum for messages from your facilitator.

Email Assignment #2: Prepare a double-spaced, three-page paper describing the budgeting process in your organization. Discuss how your budget process compares to the processes discussed in the reading assignments. Include specific examples from your budget documents. Submit the paper by email to your instructor by Friday of week 2.

Other Assignments:

• Self assessment exercise (as assigned by facilitator) • Alternative email assignment (as assigned by facilitator) Forum Activities

See the Week by Week for your Forum discussion and internet research assignments. ^ top

Week 3: Revenue Administration and Forecasting Reading

Chapter 5, Public Revenues, pp. 72-96

Chapter 6, Revenue Administration, pp. 97-113 Chapter 7, Forecasting and Estimating, pp. 114-134

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Electronic Reserve: http://130.253.4.143/eres/coursepage.aspx?cid=202

• Kavanagh, Shayne, “Constituent Relationship Management Systems,” A Primer for Public Managers,” Government Finance Review, April 2001.

• Morrison, Laura "Improving Revenue Projectionss: 10 Questions - And Answers," Government Finance Review, June 2002.

Assignments

Check the Forum for messages and/or alternative assignments from your facilitator. Email Assignment #3: Write a two- to three-page research paper about econometric forecasting. Refer to the supplemental reading, “Improving Revenue Projections,” and at least two other references in writing the paper. Describe the model in some detail,

identify variables that you think are important to use, and compare and contrast this forecasting tool to simpler methods. Decide if you would use this forecasting

methodology or another if you were the financial administrator of a government entity. Remember to cite your references. Submit the paper by email to your instructor by Friday of week 3.

Other Assignments (two bullets follow):

• Self assessment exercise (as assigned by facilitator) • Alternative email assignment (as assigned by facilitator) Forum Activities

See the Week by Week for your Forum discussion and internet research assignments. ^ top

Week 4: Expense Administration and Forecasting Reading

Chapter 8, Cost Analysis, pp. 135-168

Chapter 9, Expenditure Administration, pp. 169-181 Chapter 10, Purchasing, pp. 182-203

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• Michel, R. Gregory "Net Present Value Analysis: A Primer for Finance Officers", Government Finance Review, February 2001.

• Benest, Frank and Carl Yeats, "A Bottoms Up Approach to Deficit Reduction", Government Finance Review, April 2003.

Assignments

Check the Forum for messages from your facilitator.

Email Assignment #4: Locate an article pertaining to your local governmental's

revenue collection or expenditure administration in a local newspaper or online source. For example, you might read about how revenues are not matching expectations. In a double-spaced, three-page paper discuss how the situation will impact the community and how the government's administrators are responding. Submit the paper by email to your instructor by Friday of week 4.

Other Assignments (two bullets follow):

• Self assessment exercise (as assigned by facilitator) • Alternative email assignment (as assigned by facilitator) Forum Activities

See the Week by Week for your Forum discussion and internet research assignments. ^ top

Week 5: Administration of Short-term Resources and Investments Reading

Chapter 11, Cash Management, pp. 204-217

Chapter 12, Investment Administration, pp. 219-234

Electronic Reserves: http://130.253.4.143/eres/coursepage.aspx?cid=202

• Greifer, Nicholas and Jeffery Vieceli, "Best Practices in Treasury Management", Government Finance Review, April 2000.

• Heller, Francie, Sally Walton, and Jeremy Willmoth, "Back to Basics: Making the Case for Investment Policies,” Government Finance Review, August 2002.

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Assignments

Check the Forum for messages from your facilitator.

Email Assignment #5: Prepare a double-spaced, three-page paper describing cash management controls in your organization. Discuss how cash management procedures compare to the processes discussed in the reading assignments. Include specific

examples. Submit the paper by email to your instructor by Friday of week 5. Other Assignments (two bullets follow):

• Self assessment exercise (as assigned by facilitator) • Alternative email assignment (as assigned by facilitator) Forum Activities

See the Week by Week for your Forum discussion and internet research assignments. ^ top

Week 6: Capital Budgeting and Debt Administration Reading

Chapter 13, Capital Budgeting, pp. 235-244

Chapter 14, Public Debt Administration, pp. 245-268 Chapter 18, Assessing Financial Condition, pp. 316-331

Electronic Reserves: http://130.253.4.143/eres/coursepage.aspx?cid=202

• Douglas, Jennifer Ritter, "Best Practices in Debt Management,” Government Finance Review, April 2000.

• Kleine, Robert, Philip Kloha, and Carol Weissert, "Monitoring Local Government Fiscal Health,” Government Finance Review, June 2003.

Assignments

Check the Forum for messages from your facilitator.

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cost-benefit analysis. Discuss the challenges of quantifying future costs and cost-benefits. Provide specific examples. Submit the paper by email to your instructor by Friday of week 6.

Other Assignments (two bullets follow):

• Self assessment exercise (as assigned by facilitator) • Alternative email assignment (as assigned by facilitator) Forum Activities

See the Week by Week for your Forum discussion and internet research assignments. ^ top

Week 7: Risk Management, Assessment and Economic Development Reading

Chapter 15, Risk Management, pp. 269-284

Chapter 16, Personnel and Pension Administration, pp. 285-300 Chapter 17, Auditing, pp. 301-315

Chapter 19, Financing Economic Development, pp. 332-347

Electronic Reserves: http://130.253.4.143/eres/coursepage.aspx?cid=202

• Greifer, Nicholas, "Risk Management: A Primer for Finance Officers and Public Managers,” Government Finance Review, June 2001.

• Graves , Sharron, Bill Longenecker, Treba Marsh, and Heidi Milstead, "Evaluating Internal Controls,” Government Finance Review, June 2003.

• Eisinger, Peter, "Financing Economic Development: A Survey of Techniques,” Government Finance Review, June 2002.

• Maholland, Larry and Patrick Muetz, “A Balanced Scorecard Approach to Performance Management,” Government Finance Review, April 2002. Assignment

Check the Forum for messages and/or alternative assignments from your facilitator. Email Assignment #7: Attend a public planning meeting of your choice. For example,

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you might choice to attend a meeting of the planning board or the city counsel. Listen to the content, see how the meeting flows, and draw your own conclusions about efficiency and effectiveness. In a three-page, double-spaced paper summarize the experience and your present your insights.

Other Assignments (two bullets follow):

• Self assessment exercise (as assigned by facilitator) • Alternative email assignment (as assigned by facilitator) Forum Activities

See the Week by Week for your Forum discussion and internet research assignments. ^ top

Week 8: Future Opportunities and Challenges for Public Administrators Reading

No assigned readings. Assignments

Complete past due assignments. Final Course Project.

Complete the on-line evaluation (link below). Forum Activities

No forum assignment.

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We value your thoughts and comments.

Please complete the Online Course Evaluation located at the

bottom of the course content.

Please contact techsupport@regis.edu if you need assistance or to report any problems. © 2004 Regis University. All Rights Reserved.

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