This section of the book is from the "Introduction To Public Finance" book, by Carl Copping Plehn.
To the fourth and last part of our subject belong the formal arrangements of the public finances, — the preparation and ratification of the budget, the care and preservation of the public funds, the administration and control of expenditures, and the collection of the revenues. It was this side of the subject that first attracted attention and which occupied a large part of the writings of the Cameralists. Lorenz von Stein gives a very considerable portion of his monumental work to these subjects, and the able French writer, Stourm, has devoted to financial legislation a volume entitled Le Budget. English and American economists have generally left this field to the jurists and publicists, but Bastable devotes the last three chapters of his book to some of these topics.
In every well-regulated household and every business concern the keeping of accurate accounts, the distribution of the funds among different persons, and the control of expenses have an importance second only tothe broader questions of policy. Equally important in the greater housekeeping, of the State are the formal arrangements for the enactment of fiscal laws, for the keeping of accounts, and for ensuring compliance with the laws.
The general frame of the fiscal administration, the relation between the various departments, the assignment of particular powers and duties to the different officials or bodies, depends entirely upon the general political organisation. How these features differ from country to country it is the province of Political Science to describe. But the frame of administration has an effect on the finances ; and there are certain principles demanded by sound finance, which are followed by every country, no matter what its frame of government. Hence, there is no excuse for omitting this part of the subject.