Attracting and Retaining Finance Personnel An Urgent Challenge for the Public Sector

Having the right people will be crucial for the advancement of financial management in the public sector, according to a publication by the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants.

"Public services are generally constrained in their ability to compete financially with the private sector for top talent," said Brian Blood, CAPA Chief Executive.

“The challenges only tend to increase when it comes to attracting specialist or professional resources such as accountants and auditors.”

"Empirical evidence is not readily available; however, the insufficient number of appropriately qualified finance personnel working in the public sector, including accounting technicians, is generally recognized and is of concern as it severely affects a country's ability to achieve effective public financial management (PFM)," he added.

To address the challenge, CAPA suggests that a multi-faceted stakeholder approach is needed. The publication has identified the stakeholders and methods they can employ alone or in concert with others, especially professional accountancy organizations, to attract and retain finance personnel.

Professional accountancy organizations are encouraged to use the identified strategies and methods as a means of engaging with stakeholders in the public sector to address a key element in improving public sector financial management.

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