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The role of financial leadership in sustainable public finances

Finance leadership and the role of accountants in the public and private sectors has been the cause of much debate over the last few years. In this publication, we explore the role that finance leaders can and should play in sustainable public finances. We explore the drivers for strong financial leadership and the skills and competences that, in our view, a strong finance leader should have.

A number of senior leaders explore the practicalities of financial leadership that is needed to tackle the problems that many governments are facing – whether it be to drive through public sector reforms or to tackle increasing government debts and deficits. Finance leaders need to have both a strategic and a detailed understanding of how government works and be effective communicators and influencers to help shape policy and debates. It is therefore important for such leaders to have a combination of soft skills as well as the detailed technical skills. 

Our authors give their insights on: 

  • the importance of having finance professionals as leaders in the public sector;
  • what a successful finance professional leader should look like and the specific skills/qualities that they need to have;
  • the challenges that finance professional leaders within the public sector face and how they can tackle them;
  • how a finance professional leader can make an impact in government so that people listen when they speak; and
  • how governments can ensure that they have the right people in place for these leadership positions.