As governments around the world try to sort out their fiscal challenges, it is imperative that they recognize the value that finance professionals bring to the table. In times of austerity, greater financial management is required to bring public service budgets in order. Governments drowning in debt would do well to retain the staff responsible for throwing them a life-preserver – i.e. financial management capacity – precisely when it is needed most.
The United Kingdom, a country in dire financial position eyeing aggressive public service cuts, has begun to realize this. Speaking to the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies recently, Westminster City Council chief executive Michael More said that the U.K. government’s plans for public sector reform will require senior financial role to shape those [reforms] appropriately. “[W]e’re going to see the increasing marketisation of the public sector. It will instill certain kinds of commercial disciplines that I think are appropriate.”
Qualified finance professionals are trained in locating cost savings, assessing risk, overseeing spending controls, evaluating bid competitiveness, and performing all the types of analyses that go into managing program spending. They will ultimately be responsible for applying the financial discipline necessary to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Canadian government program delivery.
The FI Community is ready to take on this challenge. Our membership has been vocal with their desire to leverage their expertise in finding creative solutions to improve Canada’s financial position. FIs don’t just seek employment; they show up to work with a purpose to contribute to the well-being of Canadians.
As the Canadian government looks to find cost savings, it’s not too late to recognize the indispensable value that the FI group contributes to the federal public service.