Online course

Managing Public Money

Explore and understand how you can manage public money effectively to create and demonstrate value for citizens.

Understand the key principles of public financial management

The public sector provides a wide range of important services to citizens, including healthcare, education, transport, policing, justice and defence.

This online course, run in partnership with The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, introduces you to the main features of public sector financial management, in a way that allows you to apply them to your own context.

You’ll discover how there is more to public finance than taxes, understand where public money comes from, and examine how and why it gets spent.

What topics will you cover?

  • The differences between financial management in the public and private sectors.
  • The basics of taxation, including different types of taxes and their features.
  • Different approaches to budgeting and their strengths and weaknesses.
  • The key internal controls for managing the finances of any organisation.
  • The prevention of fraud and corruption.
  • The five Es of value for money: effectiveness, economy, efficiency, equity, ethics.
  • How to put a value on the costs and benefits of public services.
  • The importance of accountability and transparency in the management of public money.
  • The role of external and internal auditors and what an audit opinion means.

When would you like to start?

  • Available now
    This course started 10 September 2018

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Apply and understand the purpose of public financial management.
  • Evaluate and understand budgets in the public sector.
  • Demonstrate and understand incremental budgeting and zero-based budgeting.
  • Explain and appreciate the important of value for money and ways in which public spending is managed.
  • Assess and understand accountability mechanisms and the role of auditors in the public sector.

Who is the course for?

This course provides a practical introduction for anyone drawn to working in public financial management, as well as essential continuous professional development for early career public finance professionals.

It is also suitable for managers in public bodies and charities, whose roles involve public financial management - for example, doctors, librarians, social workers, police officers, engineers or civil servants.

Who will you learn with?

Henry Lahr

I am a Lecturer in Finance at the Open University and lead its MSc in Finance qualification. Beyond my interest in public sector finances I investigate frictions in financial markets.

Who developed the course?

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

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  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
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