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Training event: Addressing the political context and the particularities of local government accounting.

Negotiating the move from the private sector to local government accounting can be daunting. But, according to one expert, accountants in the private sector can add a lot to advice, especially as the sector is undergoing significant change.

Ian Fifield, a specialist in training those leaving the private sector, says: “There is nothing particularly difficult about local government accounting, but it can seem full of quirks to the uninitiated or those who have been trained and experienced in business accounting.



Ian says the main areas to cover include working in a political environment and becoming familiar with the idiosyncrasies of local government accounting.

“A guide to the nature of working in a political environment and the unique characteristics of local government accounting can make it easier for those who have recently joined a board or are about to,” he says.

Ian Fifield

Room151 has partnered with Ian to deliver specialist training – a local government finance conversion course – to our readers. In two 1.5-hour workshops, the course aims to help private sector accountants understand the role of financial professionals on boards, how to offer financial advice in a political context, and navigate financial statements. and the role of listeners.

The political context is a key feature of working in a local community. “The board accountants will meet with the elected councilors and it’s a very different relationship to that encountered by private sector colleagues,” says Ian. “The guidance can really help accountants understand and navigate these relationships.”

The training can also shed light on the eccentricities of municipal accounting. “Private sector accountants,” says Ian, “are more used to dealing with profits and losses, so there’s a lot of knowledge to learn about local government finances.

“It’s a mixture of accounting rules, customs, laws, policies and practices. A track record through this mix can be a real benefit.


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That being said, private sector accountants have a lot to offer advice. “People experienced in working for companies need guidance on essential skills in today’s environment. Local government has become increasingly commercial and relies on the skills and knowledge of the private sector.

“Councils have a lot to gain from those willing to transfer their skills. »

The conversion course workshops take place on November 3 and 10. To find out more about the course and to reserve a place, click here.

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