Management accounting systems are often subservient to financial reporting requirements. The development of a management accounting system requires that objectives of management accounting should be identified. Attributes for a management accounting system which recognise the special characteristics of the public sector, which includes local government, are given. These attributes meet the objectives specified, under the general headings of planning, problem diagnosis and control, and cost analysis. The regulations prescribed for local government accounting in Victoria work against the development of an appropriate management accounting system.