Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance


Insights provide detailed commentary and analysis on current issues and developments affecting public financial management and governance.

Search through our Insights to learn more about what both key practitioners in public finance and CIPFA have to say:

 Post-COVID-19 scenario planning report by CIPFA Unit 4

Post-COVID-19 scenario planning: a survey sponsored by Unit4 (PDF, 3.43MB)

This report brings together the results of research conducted by CIPFA and sponsored by Unit4 into how local government and others have approached budgeting during the pandemic and how they intend to move forward in a post-COVID-19 world.

CIPFA levelling up report cover

Addressing regional inequalities: levelling to where? (PDF, 6.36MB)

The government's levelling up agenda seeks to expand upon the UK Industrial Strategy's framework, and this report explores what the agenda hopes to achieve ahead of the White Paper expected at the end of 2021.

Local government grants

Local government grants: how effectively do they support communities? (PDF, 2.79MB)

Sponsored by Capita and set in the wider economic and government policy context, this report sets out the complexities of the grant funding landscape, assessing grant disbursement during the pandemic and illustrating some of the issues and inefficiencies inherent in the system.

Facing up to COVID

Facing Up to COVID-19 in the Public Sector: The internal audit response (PDF, 246KB)

This Insight provides some examples of how internal audit teams across different public services have responded to the challenges of COVID-19.

Manchester libraries

Manchester Libraries - Research into how libraries help people with loneliness and isolation (PDF, 767KB)

This report is based on research that shows how Manchester's libraries bring many benefits to the communities they serve and are extremely well used, that residents' health and wellbeing is improved by using the library, and that people feel better when they use their local library.

Performance tracker 2020

Performance Tracker 2020: How public services have coped with coronavirus (PDF, 3.3MB)

Performance Tracker is an ongoing analysis of the performance of public services.

Road to Reform

The Road to Reform (PDF, 312KB)

Discussing COVID-19 as a potential catalyst for change in funding social care.


Financial scrutiny practice guide

Financial Scrutiny Practice Guide(PDF, 174KB)

Providing guidance on how to integrate an awareness of financial scrutiny for England councils and councillors.

Setting Common Definitions

Internal Audit Engagement Opinions: Setting common definitions (PDF, 218KB)

Considering the use of opinions on engagements completed by internal audit

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The Case for Reform (PDF, 429KB)

Developing a council tax fit for the 21st century.

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Gender Budgeting for Public Finance(PDF, 315KB)

Written by Angela O'Hagan with additional content from the Women's Budget Group

Making sure public spending and the provision of services benefit both men and women.

Administration in the LGPS insight cover

Administration in the LGPS: A Guide for Pensions Authorities(PDF, 608KB)
Written in partnership with AON

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Talent Management in Government Finance: Finance Ministries Colloquium Survey Analysis (PDF, 787KB)

Written on behalf of the International Colloquium on Financial Management for National Governments

Changing Children's Lives: Assessing Cost and Demand for Children's Services (PDF, 732KB)

Written by Mike Bennett


Download Building Financial Resilience (PDF, 383KB)

Written by Richard Vize


Download the Levy, Apprenticeships and the Public Sector (PDF, 408 KB)

Written by Neil Merrick

Reality Check

Download Reality Check (PDF, 390 KB)

Next steps in developing sustainability and transformation plans

Accounting for the cloud

Download Accounting for the Cloud (PDF, 1039 KB)

Written by John Thornton (e-ssential Resources) and supported by Microsoft UK

Download Costing the Curriculum: Financial Sustainability in Schools (PDF, 515 KB)

Published jointly by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and CIPFA


Download Accountability, Performance and Transformation (PDF, 1 MB)

Learning from the CIPFA FM Model by Graham Marsden


Download Looking Forward (PDF, 705 KB)

Medium-term financial strategies in the UK public sector


Download Easing the Pressure: The Incentive for Early Accounts Closedown (PDF, 468 KB)

Written in association with EY

Download Investing in Council Housing (PDF, 727 KB)

Written by John Perry and Glenn Smith (CIH) and Joanne Pitt (CIPFA)

More medicine

Download More Medicine Needed: The Health of Health Finances Revisited (PDF, 675 KB)

Written by Paul Carey-Kent

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