Sep 9, 2021

CEF and CIPFA Have Built Strong and Lasting Partnership

We have been successfully cooperating with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) for a number of years in running internationally recognized professional qualification programs for public sector accountants and internal auditors. This year we also delivered our first joint conference which served as a platform for exchanging expert knowledge, experience, best practices, and recommendations to public sector accountants and auditors, both regionally and globally. We are happy to share some thoughts by Khalid Hamid, International Director at CIPFA, on our longstanding and strong cooperation.

CIPFA was established 136 years ago and has therefore a long history of supporting and developing public services accountancy. What are some of the key internal and external challenges CIPFA faces today and going forward? How do you tackle them?
CIPFA is working hard to increase its global footprint, to better confront contemporary public finance issues that are visible (and similar) across a multitude of countries. At CIPFA, the leading challenges we work with include anti-corruption (which we view as inherently linked to internal control), reforming the public sector audit function for today’s modern (often real-time) context and fiscal and environmental sustainability. As an institute, we see education and professional development as a key component of most solutions. At CIPFA, we also think a practical approach to public financial management - one that is focused on foundational principles – is a key way to resolve many widespread public sector challenges. Partnerships across the sector and across professional disciplines are also incredibly important – collaboration can produce better results than competition. Lastly, we also think a continued focus on outcomes, not inputs, is key to strengthening public sector organizations and the services they provide.   
CEF and CIPFA have been working together on numerous certification programs over the years. This year we also jointly organized an international accounting and auditing conference in North Macedonia. The CEF team has definitely benefited from this experience. Can you perhaps share some of the learnings the CIPFA team took away from our institutions working so closely together?
We are very proud to have expanded our partnership with the CEF in recent years. The conference highlighted the strong track record, personal connections and regional expertise that our CEF colleagues have in South East Europe. We’re confident that working with CEF will make CIPFA’s training programmes that much more impactful, and deliver real benefits in the region. The joint CEF-CIPFA conference also highlighted the shared challenges and issues that we, as public finance professionals, experience in our field of work – regardless of location. More than 25 accounting and audit experts that participated in the conference programme underlined just how integrated many of the topics, such as asset management and anti-corruption, are across the sector.
If you were granted three wishes to come true with regards to the sphere of public accounting, what would they be?

  • For robust communication networks to exist across disciplines and issues, to encourage an integrated approach to delivering outcomes. 
  • For all public sector organizations to have access to high-quality, comprehensive and real-time data sets to better inform decision making. 
  • For every public finance professional to maintain focus on consistent, simple and transparent accounting methods.