I wrote a short e-book that explains the principles of public procurement by using the hiring of a consultant as an example. The book will take less than an hour to read and yet it includes an explanation of the key steps in the process and has links to additional resources to help with writing your specification (get this wrong and the chances of things going wrong increases dramatically) and managing suppliers.Read More
One of my goals for 2019 is to get my online school up and running and today I have published my first proper course. It’s a short course, taught mostly using videos, about the standards and principles that underpin good financial models. By adopting these principles you will make fewer errors in your spreadsheets and it will be easier for you, and others, to modify or revise the model after it is built. And because you have skills that are seldom taught to accountants you will stand out from the crowd.
The course fee is £49 but you can get 25% off From today until until 28 February 2019 by using the coupon code LAUNCH25. Get the course here.
This course is the first of five that I have planned under the umbrella of Skills for (Public Sector) Accountants. All five of the courses are about areas of work that are important to accountants but which are not taught in a professional accounting qualification. Following on from the financial modelling course will be courses about report writing, making presentations, managing suppliers and measuring value for money.
The remaining four courses in the bundle will be published over the first few months of 2019. If you want to get each course as it is published and save yourself more than half the price you can buy the whole bundle of five courses now and, until the end of February 2019, using the coupon code LAUNCH25 will get you 25% off the early bird price of £99.
January 1st is an arbitrary day to be the first day of the year. As a former public servant in the UK I would also see 1 April as the first day of the financial year. Several years ago I wrote a post explaining why the UK tax year starts on 6 April (which itself refers to the first day of the year traditionally being 25th March, “Conception Day”). Anyway, 1 January is the conventional start of the year in terms of the change from 2018 to 2019 (CE, not AD) and the extended break I had over the Christmas and new year period has given me a chance to think about this blog.Read More
For the last six months I’ve been writing a book about managing public money. The title won’t be confirmed until the manuscript is accepted by the publishers but for now it is International Public Financial Management: the Essentials. I’m writing it for [CIPFA], based on their international public financial management qualifications.Read More
A few years ago I was asked to give a presentation to some councillors to help them in their work of scrutinising their council's budget proposals. What I came up with were five questions that the councillors could ask ...Read More
I’m a CIPFA accountant but over the last few months I’ve been working with a different accounting institute, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) on the development of an online course. The course is their Certificate in International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). The course opened today for registrations.
Those who don’t know much about the accounting profession might not be entirely surprised to learn that accountants have lots of rules and regulations to follow. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, depending on your point of view) the rules and regulations are not the same for every organisation in the world. There are some differences between countries in the accounting standards used by private sector companies although many countries have adopted the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
IFRS nearly fit, but don’t quite fit, public sector bodies. Public bodies have some significant differences in their finances, such as having tax-raising powers, and investing in assets like roads and parks and schools and public hospitals that have no promise of earning them income in the future but will cost them money to operate and maintain. Hence, over the last 15 years or so, the accounting profession, in the guise of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has been developing and publishing IPSASs. There are now 32 of them (plus a special one for public bodies that use cash accounting rather than the more sophisticated accruals basis of accounting). The full set is available for free in PDF format from the IPSASB (use this link) but be warned, there are 2,000 pages over two volumes, and a total download of over 8MB.
There are some countries (including Austria, Cambodia, Kenya, Spain,South Africa, and Vietnam) and organisations (including the European Commission, NATO and the United Nations family of organisations) that have adopted IPSASs as they are. In some other countries, like the UK, public bodies follow the IFRS as far as they are able, and look to IPSAS for guidance on how to deal with transactions that IFRS doesn’t deal with. And there are other countries who have developed their own standards for their public bodies, often using the IFRS and IPSAS as a basis.
Anyway, my point is that IPSASs are important to public sector accountants, either because they are used directly, or because they underpin the accounting standards that they follow, and the course by the ACCA is intended to address the need for accountants around the world to know what IPSASs are, and at least understand the important principles. If you are interested in the course you can read more about its contents and find out how to register for it at the ACCA’s website.