Cost Accounting

Workshop: October 2 – 4, 2018ILjubljana, SloveniaIApplication deadline: August 31, 2018IAccounting and Auditing

This workshop aims to familiarize line ministry staff – finance and non-finance – with the concepts and tools that support the fulfillment of their objectives in an effective and efficient manner. Cost accounting is an important managerial tool for improving understanding of actual resources allocation in service delivery and offers the information needed for efficiency- and effectiveness-driven decision-making. Through theoretical presentation and practical exercises, the workshop will help participants understand the practical applicability and benefits of cost accounting in their institutions. We will engage mid-to-senior level management at line ministries responsible for service delivery, as well as senior internal auditors, and senior finance and accounting staff.

What you will learn

Cost accounting is viewed a useful management tool. It does not really matter whether a country is using accrual or cash accounting, using budgeted or actual figures - cost accounting is of value in all situations. The generation of costing information helps public organizations to improve their financial management and enhance the quality of their budgeting.

This workshop examines how cost accounting can be used in government activities and how important it can be in helping to secure more rational budgetary allocation decisions. Costing can be used to determine unit costs such as the full cost of educating a child in a school for a year and can therefore generate benchmarking information to determine why costs may vary from school to school and from one public education body to another. Such information is vital in resource allocation and in assessing value for money. Another example would be to identify the costs of different regional offices delivering the same type of service so that both costs and performance on those offices can be compared. Again where new programs are proposed the costs can be clearly calculated.  Further, the workshop will discuss how costs can be identified and classified as well as which concepts of costs to use. 

During the workshop we will discuss the following topics:

  • Introducing effective cost accounting and the importance of cost accounting
  • Absorption costing
  • Unit costing, job costing
  • Activity based costing
  • Marginal costing
  • Relevant costing technique

How you will benefit

By attending this workshop you will benefit from refreshing your knowledge about costing, methodologies, and you will be able to identify opportunities for using cost accounting in your organization.  

By the end of the course participants are expected to:

  • appreciate the importance of cost accounting and its role in modern public services (including the roles of the accountant and the manager in cost accounting)
  • understand the changes that will be required to existing accounting and coding systems
  • apply the principles and methodology of absorption costing within a public sector environment
  • understand the principles of activity based costing and its application in the financial management of public bodies
  • appreciate the principles of marginal costing in managerial decision making
  • understand the role that relevant costing can play in a public sector context

Who should attend?

This workshop is designed for accountants, financial officers and managers who are involved in applying cost accounting principles in their job. The workshop will be highly participatory. Participants are encouraged to be active in discussions and exercises throughout the three day event, and to share country experiences and challenges.


As the workshop will be held in ENGLISH with no translation, as such, participants should have a good command of English. 

Participants will also be asked to complete a pre-workshop questionnaire.


Noel Hepworth

Noel Hepworth was Chief Executive of CIPFA from 1980-1996. He was Chairman of the Féderation des Experts Comptables Européens Public Sector Committee from its establishment in 1985 to 2003.  As part of this he was responsible for providing a European perspective on the IFAC public sector standards proposals. He was also a technical adviser to the IFAC public sector committee for a period of years.

From 1996 he was also Chairman of the Institute of Public Finance (a wholly owned subsidiary of CIPFA). In this capacity he was responsible for the development and management of the Institute’s international strategy with particular regard to the establishment of certified training programmes in public sector accounting and internal and external audit, in developing and transition economy countries, including Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo.

More recently, he has worked extensively with OECD/SIGMA and completed peer reviews and annual assessments of public financial management in many Balkans and Eastern European countries. He is also the external adviser to the Palestine Ministry of Finance Audit Committee.

Noel Hepworth is a qualified accountant and has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) since 1958.  He holds a post graduate diploma in public administration from the University of London. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Hull, by the University of Brighton and by London City University.  He is a member of the Royal Society of Arts and was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen in 1980.

Gary Gilbert

Gary Gilbert has over 40 years' experience of working in the field of public financial management. He is an experienced professional chartered public finance accountant and an expert trainer who has spent 14 years as leader of a professional training college. He has worked in a number of different UK public sector organisations (local government and higher education).

He worked in various positions for CIPFA, the leading accountancy body in the world in the field of public financial management. In 1986 Gary was invited to be part of the team that established the CIPFA Education & Training Centre (CETC). He led CETC from 1996 until his retirement in 2010 and over that period was responsible for ensuring that CETC became the global market leader of CIPFA professional training. During this period he worked with senior staff from the University of Hull to design, develop and deliver an MBA programme in Strategic Financial Management in Hong Kong.

Furthermore, Gary played a prominent role in ensuring that CIPFA and CETC had a leading role to play in developing, designing and delivering qualifications to improve the quality of public financial management in the world, in particular the CIPFA International Certificate and Diploma in Public Financial Management – ICDPFM. This was achieved through developments which came from two significant initiatives working with the Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF) based in Ljubljana, namely Capacity Building in Public Accountancy (CBIPA) and Training Internal Auditors in the Public Sector (TIAPS). Both of these initiatives had a reach beyond Slovenia into Croatia, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro and Slovakia, and further afield into Zambia, Bhutan, Kiribati, Lesotho, Nigeria and Bangladesh. Most recently this programme is now delivered in many countries across the world to finance personnel working in the United Nations Organisation.

In addition, Gary also led the development of bespoke programmes delivered by CETC to enhance accountancy and auditing within the European Commission and the European Court of Auditors. He further ensured that CETC had a leading role in designing and delivering training courses on the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) framework.

“In my experience I know that the implementation of PFM reforms across the world is dependent upon the quality of staff employed in the finance function. Staff expertise is achieved through sustained capacity building programmes based on high quality relevant education and training in public finance.”

Steve Daniels

Steve is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance of Accountancy (CIPFA), qualifying in 1990. After some years of audit experience with the UK National Audit Office, Steve has had around 25 years experience as a public financial management trainer working for CIPFA.  Also, as CIPFA's Head of Qualifications, Steve was responsible for the management of all of CIPFA's global qualifications, which included the management of the CIPFA certification programmes delivered in conjunction with CEF. Since 2015, Steve has worked as a freelance training consultant on a number of projects, working for a range of clients such as ACCA, Kaplan Financial, SOAS University of London, AARC Consultancy and for CIPFA.


This learning initiative is supported by:

Slovenia's Development Cooperation International Monetary Fund
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