The role of the Chief Finance Officer (CFO) occupies a critical position within the organisation including leading and directing financial strategy and operations, meeting the demands of accountable decision making and safeguarding the taxpayer's money. In a constantly changing environment it is important that the CFO has easy access to documentation that will support their continuing professional development.
This web page brings together relevant material and complements CIPFA's broader range of CPD support under three headings:
- Public sector context
- Technical knowledge
- Leadership and influencing
Public sector context and needs
Charging for adult social care in England: reform and routes forward
This report, written by CIPFA Social Care Policy Advisor Dr William Burns, discusses the current charging system, the government’s proposed reforms and aspirations for adult social care charging reform. CIPFA proposes five principles for a sustainable and equitable social care system and assesses whether possible routes forward fulfil these principles. We also make recommendations to government on adult social care charging reform.
Financial Distress Inquiry Levelling up Housing and Communities Committee
This inquiry examines the current landscape of financial resilience in local authorities in England, what lessons can be learned from the recent issuers of section 114 notices, and how the various responsible bodies are fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure effective and sustainable local government.
Birmingham City council section 114
Birmingham City Council has issued a s.114 Notice as part of the plans to meet the Council’s financial liabilities relating to Equal Pay claims and an in-year financial gap within its budget which currently stands in the region of £87m.
Section 114 notice issued by Woking Borough Council
On Wednesday 7 June 2023, the Section 151 Officer and Interim Director of Finance issued Woking Borough Council with a Section 114 Notice in response to the unprecedented financial challenges facing the authority.
CIPFA Submission to the Levelling-Up Housing and Communities Committee Financial Reporting and Audit in Local Authorities - April 2023
This document provides insight into CIPFA’s position and is part of a wider contribution CIPFA is making to find solutions for this sector wide challenge.
Advisory note three: The importance of good governance, effective oversight and accountability of council-owned companies - March 2023
This advisory note formalises key messages from the CIPFA practice oversight panel on the crucial importance of good governance during the establishment and subsequent operation of council-owned companies.
The Non-Domestic Rating Bill - March 2023
A new bill introduced on 29 March will modernise the business rates system to incentivise property improvements and support more frequent revaluations.
Penn Report - March 2023
The report, by Richard Penn, highlighted concerns around council housing subsidiary Brick By Brick and the corporate blindness of the organisation.
Financial Policy Statement - December 2022
The DLUHC policy statement sets out the government’s intentions for the local government finance settlement for the next 2 years. It provides details on council tax business rates .core spending and reserves. CIPFA has responded.
Find a local public body’s audit report, National Audit Office - December 2022
This map tool map lets you explore where auditors have issued non-standard reports locally in the NHS and local government in England.
Lessons from recent Public Interest Reports - September 2022
This new report considers the key themes from the latest set of interventions including Cultural issues and audit committee effectiveness.
Advisory note one: Understanding the challenge to local authority governance - May 2022
This note formalises key messages surrounding recent governance failures that have been identified in statutory and non-statutory reviews and public interest reports. It reinforces the good practice principles that local government bodies in the UK should adopt and signposts relevant documentation.
Local authority companies: the benefits and pitfalls - February 2022
This discussion with Nottingham City Council's Clive Heaphy and CIPFA CEO Rob Whiteman, considered the lessons learnt and how making the right choices about a company's structure, governance and finances and how to allow it to thrive while adding significant value to the communities it was designed to serve.
Lessons from recent Public Interest Reports - March 2021
This document pulls together lessons from PIR that are relevant for the sector as a whole. The audit reports are comprehensive and wide-ranging and a lesson for all local authorities.
Section 25 Statements
Our Approaching the Section 25 statement briefing builds on a round table hosted by CIPFA, which explored how Section 25 statements have evolved. The round table brought together experienced local government CFOs from across the country to share their insights on how to improve the effectiveness of these key documents.
Developing an effective assurance framework in a local authority
This briefing is aimed at everyone with an interest in assurance in a local authority, those who are the recipients of assurance, providers of assurance and those overseeing assurance arrangements.
A draft version of the CIPFA Financial Resilience Index has been forwarded to English CFO’s as part of our quality control review. We intend to release the index publicly but in the meantime questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bulletin 15 – November 23
CIPFA has issued Bulletin 15 Reporting of pensions surpluses and IFRIC 14 which provides guidance to accounts preparers and auditors in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales on the application of IFRIC 14 IAS 19 – The Limit on a Defined Benefit Asset, Minimum Funding Requirements and their Interaction with Local Authority Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) plans in accordance with the prescriptions in the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom (the Code).
Consultation on the 2024/25 Code of Practice on Local Authority Financial Reporting in the United Kingdom
CIPFA LASAAC has issued its annual consultation on the 2024/25 Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom (the Code). The 2024/25 Code will apply to accounting periods starting on or after 1 April 2024. Responses are requested by 17 October 2023.
Local Government Finance Model
The IFS-CIPFA Local Government Finance model is an interactive, web-based tool which allows councils in England to look at a range of scenarios for future revenues, spending needs and the local government funding system, to aid with their medium- to longer-term planning and engagement with system reform
LASAAC Common Good Fund Guidance
This guidance primarily considers the Common Good funds of local authorities in Scotland. Appendix 2 of this guidance covers further information relevant to the trust funds of local authorities in Scotland.
CIPFA Bulletin 14 Supplement - The Triennial Valuation and IAS 19 Reporting - May 2023
This supplementary guidance covers the impact of the triennial valuation statements received for pension funds on IAS 19 Employee Benefits Reporting. It effects the 2021/22 financial statements.
CIPFA Bulletin 14: Closure of the 2022/23 Financial Statements - April 2023
CIPFA issues Bulletins to assist practitioners with the application of the requirements of the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom (the Code), the Service Reporting Code of Practice (SeRCOP) and the Prudential Code, and to provide advice on emerging or urgent accounting issues.
Thematic Review of Non Investment Asset Valuation Consultation - March 2023
This Consultation Paper is to consult on changes that will affect Financial Reporting Manual (FReM) adaptations and interpretations of International Accounting Standard 16 Property Plant and Equipment (IAS 16) and adaptations of International Accounting Standard 38 Intangibles (IAS 38), in respect of the measurement of assets.
CIPFA Bulletin 13 Local Authority Reserves and Balances - March 2023
CIPFA Bulletin 13 Local Authority Reserves and Balances provides guidance to local authority chief finance officers in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales on the establishment and maintenance of local authority reserves and balances.
Capital Risk Monitoring regime - February 2023
The slides from The Treasury management network are intended to raise awareness of the changes and future consultation from this element of the Levelling up and regeneration Bill.
The CIPFA Bulletin 12: Accounting for Infrastructure Assets, Temporary Solution - January 2023
The CIPFA Bulletin 12 – Accounting for Infrastructure Assets – Temporary Solution covers the issues to be considered regarding the temporary solution for the accounting and reporting issues relating to infrastructure assets
Update to the Code and Specifications for Future Codes for Infrastructure Assets - November 2022
The Update to the Code and Specifications for Future Codes for Infrastructure Assets (the Update) provides amended specifications on the disclosure on gross cost and accumulated depreciation for infrastructure assets. The Update allows local authorities temporary relief from disclosing gross cost and accumulated depreciation until 31 March 2025.
The CIPFA Bulletin 11: Accounting for Assets Owned by Religious Bodies and Used by Schools - October 2022
The CIPFA Bulletin 11 Accounting for Assets Owned by Religious Bodies and Used by Schools covers the issues to be considered regarding the accounting treatment of assets owned by religious bodies (church/trustees) for schools within the maintained sector.
The untapped potential of internal audit - May 2022
CIPFA's report on internal audit examines the untapped potential for the discipline in public services and how it can bring about valuable change
Consultations - May 2022
The CIPFA LASAAC Local Authority Code Board has announced an urgent consultation on temporary proposals to update of the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom for infrastructure assets.
Local government capital investment and borrowing: proposed measures to address risk - May 2022
Legislative measures to address excessive risk arising from local authority investment and borrowing, while supporting local freedoms for much needed investment.
CIPFA Bulletin 10: Closure of the 2021/22 financial statements - April 2022
CIPFA's Accounting and Financial Reporting Forum issues CIPFA Bulletins to assist practitioners with the application of the requirements of the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom (the Code), the Service Reporting Code of Practice (SeRCOP) and the Prudential Code, and to provide advice on emerging or urgent accounting issues
Leading and influencing
How can further local authority failures be prevented
Most local authorities are well led and managed and balance their books, even in these challenging times, but, unfortunately, the catastrophic failure of a local authority isn't the rare event it once was. Paul Dossett and Guy Clifton explore the lessons to learn for the sector in their how can further local authority failures be prevented report.
Monitoring Officer Report – November 23
The Local Democracy Research Centre at LGIU has carried out research, in partnership with Lawyers in Local Government and Browne Jacobson to investigate the changing role of the MO.
CIPFA and ICAEW announce accelerated route to gain CPFA and ACA designation and dual membership
Chartered accountancy bodies CIPFA and ICAEW have today announced a new fast-track route for newly-qualified CPFA and ACA accountants to gain designation of both Institutes and qualify for dual membership as part of their commitment to closer working. Launching in early 2024, this new offer adds to the already existing pathways for members of both institutes, providing greater flexibility for CPFA and ACA chartered accountants to work across the public and private sectors.
Exploring blockchain technologies for collaboration and partnerships
Blockchain technology can revolutionise collaboration and partnerships in the public sector via practical guidance and real-world case studies. This report cuts through the hype, highlighting the potential benefits and limitations of blockchain while providing a decision-making framework for successful implementation.
Advisory note two: The importance of section 151 officers in discussions and decisions concerning severance pay
This advisory note provides a high-level summary of the government guidance on severance pay and recommends a number of actions that a s151 officer may wish to consider.
Diversity equity and inclusion lighthouses Mckinsey Report - January 2023
Leaders need clarity on what works to improve diversity, equity and inclusion. Mckinsey's 2023 report shows success factors that contributed to sustainable DEI impact.
PWC Women in Work Index - January 2023
PWC Report Women in Work Index shows progress towards gender equality at work across the OECD has been exceedingly slow over the last 10 years
Diversity Wins: How inclusion matters - May 2022
As this report shows, however, I&D is a powerful enabler of business performance. Companies whose leaders welcome diverse talents and include multiple perspectives are likely to emerge from the crisis stronger
CIPFA Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub - January 2022
CIPFA's Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub is a free online resource for anyone that needs help, information or support