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Public Budgeting and Financial Management - London

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Course Overview

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About the Programme

In professions across the public sector, whether medical, educational, legal, engineering or custodial, people are making choices about investments, about how to achieve efficiency, how to stay within budget and how to improve performance. Officers have to understand costs, budgets, financial statements about cash flows, and expenditures, even when they are not in accountancy. There are also changes in what people are being held to account for. It is no longer sufficient to have accounts that show that money has been spent how governments intended. Politicians and the public want to know how well it has been spent, whether it has been used efficiently and whether it has achieved the purposes for which it was allocated.

Consequently, public finance management has to be dynamic in nature. In many countries, budgets and accounts are no longer concerned just with the cash allocated and spent but also with the resources used in providing services – capital resources and assets, as well as people and materials. The further away from cash accounting the systems get the less they look like our personal accounts and the more we need to learn about the relevant concepts to enable us to understand and run them.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Understand how public budgeting fits into the macroeconomic framework

  • Apply ideas about accountability to the production of various forms of account for public services and public money

  • Understand how changes in public management require different forms of public accounting

  • Read a budget and a set of national accounts and understand the differences between budgets and accounts in different jurisdictions

  • Understand costs and different ways of measuring them and how costs are used in budgets

  • Understand the budget process at national and sub-national levels and the techniques appropriate at different levels

  • Apply budgetary control methods

  • Use financial management to enhance the performance of public organisations

  • Appreciate the interaction between public financial management, politics and political choices

Who Should Attend

This course will benefit all middle management cadres from senior officers to chief Financial officers and directorate cadre i.e. Assistant directors, deputy directors and directors in non -financial roles that need to be conversant with public financial management

Course Outline

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Course Contents

The Context of Financial Management

  • What is a Budget?
  • The Macroeconomic Framework
  • Accountability
  • New Public Management' and Financial Management

Budget Coverage, Classification and Structure

  • Coverage of the Budget
  • Classification of the Budget
  • Budget Composition
  • The Line Item System versus Programme Systems


  • Costing Systems
  • Cost-Volume-Profit Model, Absorption or Full Cost Recovery
  • Activity Based Costing (ABC)
  • Managing Costs
  • Price-Based Costing
  • Concept of Relevant Costs

Accounting and Budgeting: National Level

  • Approaches to Public Accounting and Budgeting
  • Cash Accounting versus Accruals Accounting
  • The Macroeconomic, Fiscal Framework and the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework
  • The Role of the Ministry of Finance
  • Budget Timetable

Accounting and Budgeting: Sub-National Level

  • Translating the national budget into operational budgets
  • Structure, Performance, Discretion, Block Grants and Contracts
  • Fund Accounting
  • Resource Accounting and Budgeting
  • Which Techniques at Which Stage?
  • Budget Timetable at Sub-National Level
  • Accounting for Services Provided by Third Parties

Budget Execution

  • Introduction: Budgetary Control
  • Controlling Operations
  • Monitoring Budget Execution

Financial Management and Performance

  • Introduction: Accruals Accounting and Output and Outcome Budgeting
  • Defining and Measuring Non-Financial Items, Especially Outputs and Outcomes
  • Case Study 1: Output and Outcome Definitions
  • Output and Input Budgets
  • Case Study 2: Outcomes and Outputs in Budgets in England
  • Case Study 3: Performance Budgeting in Canada
  • Conclusions: Will Performance Management and Budgeting Ever Be Fully Implemented?

Budgeting and Democracy: Conclusions

  • Introduction
  • National Legislatures and the Budget Process
  • Case Studies - the USA, the Netherlands and Brazil
  • Conclusions on Budgeting and Democracy
  • Is There a Single Best Method of Financial Management?
  • Review: The Journey from Bureaucracy to NPM as it Affects Public Financial Management

Location, Pricing & Dates

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This programme is available as an in-house programme at the clients preferred location. (Minimum Class size 10) Contact our client liaison team to discuss running this programme in house.