75437 - Management Accounting in Public and Non Profit Sector

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

This course will provide students with some frameworks and ways of thinking about how public sector organizations and nonprofit organizations should implement management control systems in their contexts.

Students who complete the course successfully will know about:

  • The differences amongst private sector and nonprofit/public sector organizations' key success factors, why they vary among different types organizations, and how they influences decision making processes and, thus, management control systems.
  • Ways that organizations can account for their costs and how the cost accounting effort can help nonprofit/publics sector organizations' decision making processes.
  • How the technique of variance analysis can improve one's understanding to improve corrective actions.
  • How to measure and manage performance in nonprofit/public sector organizations.

Course contents

The course will meet for 10 sessions in the second half of first semester (November and December 2020) according to a detailed program that will be published within the online platform, and will present the following concepts.

  • Full Cost Accounting and Pricing
  • Cost Behavior and Differential Cost
  • Measuring Performance
  • Budgeting, Reporting and Variance Analysis



Padovani E., Young D. W., Managing Local Governments. Designing Management Control Systems that Deliver Value. London: Routledge, 2011, chapters 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Textbooks and workbooks to support some classes

For Italian-speaking students, one among the following two textbooks:
* Cinquini L., Cost management. Volume I. (1a edizione), 2017, Giappichelli Editore, Torino.
* Cinquini L., Strumenti per l'analisi dei costi. Volume I. Fondamenti di Cost Accounting (4a edizione), 2013, Giappichelli Editore, Torino, pagine 210 - ISBN 9788834886854 - il libro è esaurito presso l'Editore, e può essere acquistato solo sul mercato dell'usato
... and the following workbook:
* Pitzalis A., Tenucci A., Strumenti per l'analisi dei costi. Esercizi e casi di Cost Accounting (2a edizione), 2007, Giappichelli Editore, Torino - pagine 281 - available in e-book version only

For all students:
* Accounting Workbook
More info on chapters and exercises published within the e-learning platform.

Teaching methods

The course will use a combination of readings, interactive lectures, and case discussions. Further details on the e-learning platform from the first class.

Assessment methods

Grading will be based on a combination of a mid-term assessment done in teams, one written case analysis done in teams and an interview. All parts of the exam will be done online via Teams.

Attending students

  1. 20%, i.e. 0-6 points, for the mid-term assessment (in teams) on class number 7: each team's member will be awarded with the team's grade
  2. 30%, i.e. 0-6 points, for team's solution of a case problem analysed and discussed on classes number 8 to 10: 6 points awarded per each member of the team if the solution is assessed at least fair
  3. 50% (and extra points), i.e. 0-20 points, for the individual interview.

Non attending students

1. and 2. will be replaced by further questions during the interview.

Office hours

See the website of Emanuele Padovani