The civil service, on both national and local level, is shrinking as a result of the government’s austerity measures, but those with public sector accounting jobs may be fortunate in avoiding heavy redundancies forced by the squeeze in funding. Times are difficult in the public sector with cuts to the workforce of between 1.9% and 3.2% expected between now and 2017.
However, those with public sector accounting jobs may suffer less from the contraction of the public sector as their skills will be increasingly called upon to ensure greater productivity in local and national administration. The key for public sector accountants will be in recognising where their organisations are getting the best value for money and highlighting areas of inefficiency and waste. In this way they can fulfil a vital role in making savings and allowing investment to be targeted at projects that make the best of available resources.
This will not be an easy task. Public sector finances in many cases are stretched to the limit as administration tries to balance the provision of the high quality services demanded by the public with ever tightening purse strings. Professionals seeking public sector accounting jobs will have to demonstrate their clear understanding of getting the best value possible for the taxpayer.