Gain the knowledge and skills required to progress your professional accountancy career
Developed in partnership with industry experts and employers, this qualification offers a wide range of transferable skills that can be applied to many different finance and accounting contexts. It provides students with a nationally-recognised qualification in professional accounting and audit, and is suitable for those who:
- work as experienced auditors and wish to formalise their CIPFA qualifications
- wish to be a registered local auditor according to the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014
The Advanced Audit and Public Sector Financial Reporting module content will vary based on your location — further information can be found in the documents and module descriptions below.
- Download the Diploma in Public Financial Management, Reporting and Advanced Audit specification (UK students)
- Download the Diploma in Public Financial Management, Reporting and Advanced Audit specification (international students)
Advanced Audit (AA)
The AA module for UK students covers the knowledge and higher-level skills that are needed to perform the responsibilities of a registered auditor in terms of the UK Companies Act 2006. It also covers the knowledge and higher-level skills that are needed to perform the responsibilities of a registered local auditor in terms of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. The module outcomes are based on the requirements of International Standards on Auditing (UK) and relevant UK legislation. There is a focus on understanding the main ethical and professional conduct requirements that are relevant to the audit of financial statements. As auditing has application throughout organisations, this module is linked to all other parts of the qualification.
It builds directly on the Audit and Assurance module, while the corporate governance content links into the Governance and Risk Management module. As external auditing involves an appraisal of financial accounting statements, there are also links with the Financial Accounting and Business Reporting modules.
The module for international students focuses on the necessary knowledge and higher level skills to perform an audit in accordance with the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) and International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) auditing standards. As auditing has application throughout organisations, this module is linked to all other parts of the qualification. The content builds directly on the Audit and Assurance module, while the corporate governance content links into the Governance and Risk Management module. In addition, as external auditing involves an appraisal of financial accounting statements, this module builds on the content covered in Financial Accounting and Business Reporting.
Assessment: Online examination, three hours, extended response questions with a number of components.
Strategic Public Financial Management (SPFM)
Focussing on the strategic financial management issues facing those who work in, manage and lead finance functions across the public services, this module covers the specific sources of finance available to public service organisations and the complexities of the environment in which public financial management work is undertaken. Issues involved in public service financial strategy development, financial planning and budgeting are identified and analysed, including climate change and sustainability. Collaborative working, business partnering, business case preparation and evaluation and governance considerations are also explored.
The module concludes by focusing on the issues associated with evaluating performance of public services. The principles introduced in earlier modules, especially Management Accounting, Financial Management, Strategy Development, Governance and Risk Management and Implementing Business Change, are developed and applied from the perspective of public service organisations and specific not-for-profit models are introduced.
Assessment: Online examination, three hours, extended response questions with a number of components
Public Sector Financial Reporting (PSFR)
For UK students this module focuses on the knowledge and skills required for financial reporting responsibilities within the UK public and charity sectors. It explores the main elements of the financial framework in which public and charity sector organisations in the UK operate, as well as the form and content of financial statements and the requirements for preparing consolidated financial statements. Financial statements are analysed.
There is a focus on the preparation of financial statements for organisations in the different sectors: local government, central government, the health service and the charity sector. Students will be required to demonstrate knowledge of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) and of the relevant sectoral regulations. PSFR builds on the knowledge and skills developed in the Financial Accounting and Business Reporting modules, particularly on recording financial transactions, applying IFRSs and preparing financial statements.
The PSFR module for international students explores the technical knowledge and skills required to perform financial reporting responsibilities within the public sector. It offers an overview of the public sector and introduces the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) regulatory framework. There is a focus on the skills needed to prepare cash basis financial statements under IPSAS. Acknowledging the benefits of transitioning from cash basis to accruals accounts, there is also a focus on the skills that public sector accountants will need to advocate for the use of accruals accounting in their place of work.
It revisits some of the key technical financial reporting knowledge developed in earlier modules and explores the importance of ethical principles in relation to the preparation of financial statements and providing financial information and advice to users. Content on the preparation of financial statements focuses on single-entity organisations, and covers cash basis statements.
Assessment: Online examination, three hours, objective questions and preparation of financial accounts
Strategic Case Study (SCS)
The SCS module focuses on refreshing and consolidating the skills and knowledge gained from the previous modules, and on using these skills and knowledge to address strategic financial management problems effectively. No new syllabus content is introduced in the module. The assessment requires the integration and application of knowledge from different modules in order to address a series of practical issues and to communicate information clearly and effectively to recipients, often to senior stakeholders. The emphasis is on evaluating and responding to practical issues and determining relevant management or financial management strategies and policies in the context of professional and ethical standards.
Assessment: Online examination, three and a half hours, pre-seen case study