This guide is for senior finance leaders in government departments and other public bodies. It looks at three critical areas that underpin every phase of the financial management lifecycle. When organisations get this right, they can unlock greater efficiency and resilience, and make better decisions.

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These areas are:

  • Leadership, governance and culture – setting the right tone from the top, securing strong governance and oversight, defining clear accountabilities, and promoting a culture of openness and transparency are essential to creating an environment where the finance team can thrive
  • Skills and capabilities – having the right range of professional and technical skills, prioritising flexibility and responsiveness, and working well with stakeholders enables finance teams to maximise their impact
  • Data and management information – using data for decision-making, ensuring data quality and having effective management information systems can result in better outcomes for finance teams

We have drawn our insights and good practice from our value-for-money work. We also interviewed senior finance decision-makers from our audited bodies and private sector organisations. 

How to use this guide

The guide sets out what good looks like for different aspects of financial management. It shows why it’s important and what finance leaders can do to achieve it. We’ve used quotes and case studies from our audited bodies to illustrate the different areas.

Our insights are not mandatory guidance but will complement existing guidance provided to finance teams across government.

Please note: the PDF has some interactivity that will not work in full-screen mode on your browser. To view it in full-screen mode, download the PDF to your computer and open it in Adobe Acrobat.

Financial management in government series

This guide is part of a series supporting financial management in government. We have also published:

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