Attracting and Retaining Finance Personnel – An Urgent Challenge for the Public Sector

Published date: May 20, 2016

At a CAPA-World Bank forum, Financial Reform for Economic Development, held on 17 and 18 May 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, CAPA launched its latest thought leadership publication – Attracting and Retaining Finance Personnel in the Public Sector.

Addressing a huge challenge for the public sector, it examines issues of capacity and capability, one of The Eight Key Elements of PFM Success as identified in the same-titled publication issued by CAPA in 2014. The publication concluded by saying, “having the right people will be crucial for the advancement of financial management in the public sector”.

“Public services are generally constrained in their ability to compete financially with the private sector for top talent. The challenges only tend to increase when it comes to attracting specialist or professional resources such as accountants ad auditors,” said Brian Blood, CAPA Chief Executive.

“Empirical evidence is not readily available; however, the insufficient number of appropriately qualified finance personnel working in the public sector, including accounting technicians, is generally recognised and is of concern as it severely affects a country’s ability to achieve effective public financial management (PFM),” he added.

To address the challenge, CAPA suggests that a multi-faceted stakeholder approach is needed. The publication has identified the stakeholders and methods they can employ alone or in concert with others, especially professional accountancy organisations, to attract and retain finance personnel.

Professional accountancy organisations are encouraged to use the identified strategies and methods as a means of engaging with stakeholders in the public sector to address a key element in improving public sector financial management.

The publication is endorsed by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). The publication can be accessed at this section: Public Financial Management > PFM Publications.