Management Accounting for Public Administrations

Base Knowledge

– Introduction to Accounting
– Financial Accounting
– Financial analysis
– Budget Accounting for Public Administrations
– Corporate Accounting Principles

Teaching Methodologies

The discipline will work in theoretical-practical classes, seeking to combine the expository dimension of the subject with the necessary practical approach to the realities of the organizations’ information systems.

Practical classes will preferably take place in computer rooms or using personal computers.

Learning Results

Recognize the objectives and scope of Management Accounting in all organizations (public or private, with or without profit); Identify and apply the main concepts and types of costs; Identify and apply the methods of costs determination, including the cost centers method and the ABC as an alternative to traditional systems; Recognize the relationships between Cost, Volume and Result; Know the main steps in the design of Management accounting systems.

Delimit the scope of the Public Sector, the characteristics of public entities and public management; Explain and frame the objectives of Management Accounting for Public Administrations and adapt the fundamental concepts and techniques of Management Accounting to this Sector; Describe a model of Management Accounting for Administrations; Describe the various Management Accounting solutions for Administrations adopted in Portugal (POCAL, POC Educação and POC MS) and SNCP-AP.


1. Management Accounting
1.1. Scope and objectives of Management Accounting
1.2. Income Statement: by Nature and Functions
1.3. Articulation Systems between Financial Accounting and Management Accounting
1.4. Recent Developments in Management Accounting

2. Fundamental Concepts of Management Accounting
2.1. Costs/expenses, expenses and payments versus Income/Income, revenues and receipts
2.2. Cost Objects, Production Cost, Complex Cost and Economic-Technical Cost
2.3. Product Costs and Expenses for Periods
2.4. Classification of costs/expenses and income/income: Control and Decision Making
2.5. Relevant Costs and Income for Decision Making

3. Production cost components
3.1. The subjects
3.2. the workforce
3.3. General (indirect) production costs
3.4. Costs of finished production and production in process of manufacture
3.5. Extra production costs

4. Inventory Costing Systems
4.1. Alternative Costing Systems
4.2. Complete Total Costing
4.3. Rational Costing
4.4. Variable Costing
4.5. Costing alternatives and effects on income

5. Costing based on Cost Centers
5.1. Functional division of costs
5.2. Cost centers. Main and Auxiliary Centers
5.3. Primary and secondary breakdown of costs by Centres. Reciprocal benefits.
5.4. Cost Calculation Maps

6. Activity Based Costing (ABC)
6.1. ABC and cost center-based costing
6.2. Activities and expense drivers
6.3. Cost Calculation Maps

7. Cost-Volume-Result Relationships
7.1. Relationships between costs and volume
7.2. Cost Behavior
7.3. The contribution model
7.4. CVR Analysis in Variable Costing
7.5. The sales mix concept
7.6. CVR Analysis Assumptions


8. The Public Sector – Conceptual Introduction
8.1. The Public Sector – concept and boundaries. Characteristics of public entities
8.2. Public Goods and Private Goods. Externalities. Justification of Prices in the Public Sector.
8.3. Public Management – concept, evolution and principles – legality and “accountability”
8.4. Control and Evaluation of Public Management – Evaluation criteria

9. Management Accounting in Public Administrations – objectives and fundamental concepts
9.1. Public Accounting – concept, objectives and divisions
9.2. Legal framework of Public Accounting in Portugal – subsystems and SNC-AP
9.3. Objectives, Justification and Particularities of Management Accounting in the Public Sector. Relations with Asset Accounting and Budget Management
9.4. Fundamental Concepts of Management Accounting (revision and adaptation to the Public Sector):
9.5. The nature of costs and budget classifications

10. Accounting Models for Public Administrations in Portugal
10.1. The Official Public Accounting Plan
10.2. The POCAL model
10.3. The POC Education model
10.4. The Ministry of Health POC model. The PCAH
10.5. The model of the SNC-AP – the NCP 27

Curricular Unit Teachers




Basic Bibliography:

  • AECA, Indicadores de Gestión para las Entidades Públicas, Documento nº 16, Julho 1997
  • AECA, La Contabilidad de Gestión en las Entidades Públicas, Documento nº 15, Março 2001
  • Almeida, José Rui de – Contabilidade de Custos para Autarquias Locais. Modelo para o Sector Público
  • Martins, Ana Lucas, (2017) – Contabilidade de Gestão nas Administrações Públicas, Rei dos Livros, Lisboa;
  • Saraiva, Adélio, Rodrigues, Ana Isabel, Coimbra, Cláudia, Correia, Elisabete, Fantasia, Manuela, Nunes, Rosa (2022), Contabilidade de Gestão – Cálculo de Custos e Valorização de Inventários – Exercícios, Almedina Editora
  • Saraiva, Adélio, Rodrigues, Ana Isabel, Coimbra, Cláudia, Fantasia, Manuela, Nunes, Rosa (2018), Contabilidade de Gestão – Cálculo de Custos e Valorização de Inventários, Almedina Editora


Complementary Bibliography:

  • Anthony, Robert N. e YOUNG, David W.; Management Control in Nonprofit Organizations, Ed. McGrawHill, Boston, E.U.A., 10ª Ed., 2022
  • Cravo, Domingos José a Silva – POC Educação Explicado, Ed. Ei dos Livros, 2ª Edição, 2006
  • Franco, Victor, [et al.], (2005) – Contabilidade de Gestão – Volume I, 1ª edição, Editora Publisher Team, Lisboa;
  • Franco, Victor, [et al.], (2005) – Contabilidade de Gestão – Volume II, 1ª edição, Editora Publisher Team, Lisboa;
  • Ferreira, Domingos, Caldeira, Carlos, Asseiceiro, João, Vieira, João e Vicente, Célia (2014), Contabilidade de Gestão – Estratégia de custos e de resultados, 1ª ed., Rei dos Livros.
  • Horngren, Charles T., Foster, George e Datar, Srikant (2009), Cost Accounting: A Managerial Emphasis, 13th Edition, Prentice Hall International Editions, Upper Saddle River, Nova Jersey;