The course considers the whole of the public sector including central and local government, hospitals, police forces, and schools. The first week of the course looks at how the public sector differs from the private sector and the implications that has on the financial management skills required.
The remaining three weeks of this course follow the annual financial management cycle. Week 2 will help you understand and evaluate budgeting. It will cover two uses of budgets: planning income and expenditure for the year ahead and authorising the spending of money during the year. You will learn about different approaches to budgeting including incremental budgeting and zero-based budgeting.
Week 3 is concerned with value for money: what it is and why it is important for public managers to manage the spending of public money on their services or projects to create the greatest possible value for money.
Week 4 focuses on accountability. You will learn how to assess and understand the accountability mechanisms which operate in the public sector, such as the publication of annual financial reports. Week 4 will also cover the role of internal and external auditors in the public sector.