Public Sector Accounting

Public sector accounting….what is it? The short answer is public sector accounting is an accounting method used in central and local governments and other non-profit public sector entities. Skills Academy offers the following ICB accredited public sector accountant courses:

However, there is more to public sector accounting than that. Here we will examine what this career entails and how you can get started.

What is meant by the public sector?

The public sector is the section of an economic system that is run by national, provincial, and local governments. 

Even this changes from country to country. The public sector supports all three arms of government – the ‘executive’ arm (the Government), the ‘legislature’ (Parliament) and the ‘judiciary’ (judges of the various courts).

The public sector services the nation by providing such services as:

  • the military
  • police
  • public roads
  • bridges
  • tunnels
  • water supply
  • sewers
  • electrical grids
  • telecommunications
  • public transit
  • public education

along with health care and those working for the government itself, such as elected officials. 

 

Public Sector Accounting

 

Where does a public sector accountant fit in?

Public sector accounting keeps the government running smoothly. These people review financial documentation for the government and its taxpayers. The work they do ranges from the auditing of tax accounts to investigating various government agencies’ financial accounts for signs of fraudulent activity. It is important to specialise because the objectives for public sector accounting differ significantly from the accounting practice has been developed for in the private sector.

Public sector accountants are monitored by The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board, known also by the acronym of IPSASB. IPSASB is responsible for developing the standards in accounting for entities in the public sector worldwide. 

 

What are the duties of a public sector accountant?

Public sector accounting is a vital function of the Government and so public sector accountants have many duties such as:

  • developing and managing financial management systems and policies
  • ensuring the effective financial management of public money 
  • making financial decisions and advising key bodies and individuals
  • preparing and monitoring budgets and accounts
  • controlling expenditure and cash flow
  • undertaking financial administration
  • preparing reports on annual accounts and budget information for the auditor
  • controlling the overall capital and revenue budgets for departments
  • assessing and advising on estimates for project funding and continuing running costs
  • preparing recommendations on large-scale projects
  • checking that funding is properly distributed
  • conducting internal audits, e.g. working on wage reviews
  • checking creditors’ invoices
  • charging customers for services
  • examining financial records and statements to check for accuracy
  • balancing the costs of specific public services against income
  • keeping up to date with developments in public sector financial and management accounting practices
  • managing and training staff, when employed at a senior level

 

Interested in starting a career in public sector accounting?

If you think that you are ready for the challenges of being a public sector accountant, then look at these fantastic, accredited ICB courses offered by Skills Academy.

Need more help? Call 0800 39 00 27 now to speak one of our friendly course consultants or fill in the online form and we will get back to you.

Last Update: July 04, 2017

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