Half of public sector finance directors believe there have been great
improvements in financial management over the last three years.
Nearly 500 senior financial professionals from central and local government,
the NHS, educational bodies, housing, charities and other public sector bodies
were involved in the CIPFA survey, which
was a joint project with YouGov.
The biggest single cause of the improved level of financial management,
identified by nearly two-thirds of respondents, was the setting of clear
performance targets, while nearly half said that improved performance flowed
from greater financial management skills.
CIPFA pinpointed the greatest challenge for the future as integrating
financial and performance information to give boards and managers a well-rounded
view of their business.
One key issue which emerged was the changing role of finance professionals
throughout the public services. The traditional area of responsibility of
financial monitoring and control has, in many cases, been considerably expanded
to include areas as diverse as procurement and property through to risk
management and human resources, CIPFA found.
CIPFA’s policy and technical chief Ian Carruthers said:
‘It is clear from this survey that the improvements in public sector
financial management have taken place right across the board. This is the result
of properly targeted training for both finance professionals and their
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