Accounting and Financial Reporting

Introduction to Governmental Accounting for Accountants

Course Overview


Introduction to Governmental Accounting for Accountants




Basic understanding of private-sector accounting and financial reporting

Field of Study

Accounting (Governmental)





* “Basic” level classes that fall within the accounting, auditing, and financial reporting topic assume that all participants have a fundamental understanding of double-entry accounting (e.g., debits and credits, normal account balances), elements of financial statements (e.g., assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses), and broad categories of financial statements (e.g., position statements and operating statements). Participants who have current knowledge equivalent to those who have recently passed a college-level accounting class will meet these criteria.


The public sector environment is fundamentally different from that in which private-sector organizations operate, thus different accounting and financial reporting practices have developed for governments.

This training will provide a basic introduction to the conceptual and practical ways in which generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for governments differs from that used for private companies and familiarize participants with the purpose and use of fund accounting, the three fund categories, the different measurement focuses and bases of accounting used in government financial statements, and the fund and government-wide financial statements.

Learning Objectives

Those completing this seminar will be able to:

  • Define the environmental differences that underlie differences in accounting and financial reporting for governments compared to private-sector entities
  • Explain the use of fund accounting in the government environment
  • Identify the three fund categories and the purposes for which they are used
  • Identify the two measurement focuses and the purposes for which they are used.

Who Will Benefit

Those new to accounting in the public sector.