Become Interview Ready

handshake
Become interview ready for success

Become interview ready with our range of services. If you are looking for a job in the public sector or not for profit sector, it is important to prepare for interviews and have the right skill set on your CV. We offer assessments and learning materials for some of the essential and desirable skill areas needed.

Assess your skills and depending on your level, you can improve them with the supporting learning resources. When you complete the assessment you will immediately receive a feedback report.

Topics include:

Basic Maths and Statistics; Budget Setting; Budget Management and Control; Fraud Awareness and Bribery Act; Financial Strategy; Financial Accounting Techniques; and Business Planning

Our assessments have been used world wide to measure and improve skills. Individuals use them to enhance their job prospects and CVs, and to assist in becoming interview ready. Employers use them to ensure prospective staff have the level of competency required for the role.

All assessments are £9.99 each and can be purchased from this website. They are also available to purchase through the Reed website. Contact us for more information or view our YouTube Video.

Public Sector Budgeting CPD Courses – July 2019

budgeting for managers course

BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW

Our Budgeting CPD courses are ideal for public sector managers and those working in a non-profit environment. Anyone who has to manage and control budgets as part of their job role should come along and develop their financial management skills.

The Budgeting for Managers course provides excellent material for learners from all sectors such as government, local government, education, NHS, fire and police authorities, charities, NGOs and those wishing to develop their CVs. We offer open course dates along with one to one sessions which can be arranged for a mutually agreeable date. Just contact us.

Previous Course attendees have said:

“The course helped me to have a better understanding of budgeting principles and financial management. I also feel more confident to ask questions about management accounts, particularly as I have been equipped with improved skills to analyse and look beyond the figures in the reports. The course was delivered at a good pace and I liked the fact that we looked at the published accounts from my own company which really helped put the learning principles in to practice and therefore improved my understanding.” Head of Case Management, Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal

“I enjoyed the course and it was very helpful. I have been able to bring back a number of recommendations from the course and improve our budget monitoring, helping to make our programme more transparent and offer greater value for money for the tax payer.” Compliance Executive, Skills Development Scotland

“The course was excellent and pitched at the right level to reflect my public sector role and experience. There was ample space for dialogue and discussion and it enabled me to develop clear actions to take forward. I would strongly recommend the course to any managers who want to understand how to take a more proactive approach to budget setting and management in senior public sector contexts.” Transportation Services Group Manager, East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Budgeting for Mangers Programme Objectives 

To ensure that learners understand the importance of budget setting as fundamental to managing budgets
To provide information on the different techniques and approaches to preparing and setting budgets
To provide learners with information on budget monitoring and control techniques, including variance analysis and projecting outturns
To ensure learners understand the difference between budgetary control and cost control
To encourage learners to be involved in controlling budgets in their own organisations

Course Content

Budget Setting

  • Budget Setting Techniques
  • Demand led budgets
  • Profiling Budgets
  • Key to Successful Budgeting

Budget Management

  • Principles of Budget Monitoring
  • Commitment Accounting
  • Variance Analysis
  • Projecting Outturns

Budgetary Control

  • Budget Control Drivers
  • Taking Action to Control Budgets
  • Budget Virement
  • Budgetary Control reports

About the Trainers: Lascelles Hussey and Jennifer Bean

They are Chartered Accountants, and hold Masters in Business Administration and Directors of HB Publications and Training International. With over 25 years’ experience in developing and delivering financial training programmes to the public sector they are experts in their field. Also, they are authors of the “Essential Skills for the Public Sector” series of books which includes “Managing the Devolved Budget”, ” Finance for Non Financial Public Sector Managers” and “Basic Financial Skills for the Public Sector”.

This course will include:

  • A copy of the book “Managing the Devolved Budget”
  • Course Notes
  • Illustrations/Case Studies/Practice Exercises
  • Trainer-led PowerPoint presentation

Next Dates:             26th July and 27th September

Location:               Chartered Accountants Hall, One Moorgate Place, London, EC2R 6EA

Price:                      £275 ex. VAT 

ONE TO ONE SESSIONS CAN ALSO BE BOOKED BY ARRANGEMENT

Recruiting Finance Staff for the Public Sector

handshake

 

Recruiting finance staff for the public sector is our area of expertise. This cost effective service is ideal for recruiting finance staff at any level from officers to Director positions. We work with organisations in both the public and non profit sectors, including recruitment agencies. Our services include reviewing potential candidates CVs, designing interview questions, and if required participating in the recruitment panel. The service includes using our own online financial competency assessment system. This system can be tailored to meet the needs of specific job descriptions, for all levels of finance posts. Using our services can save money lost when recruiting the wrong person for the job.

We are now offering a fixed fee cost effective service package which includes:

  • Review of CVs to provide a first shortlist
  • Objective assessment of core skills and knowledge, using our online system
  • Bespoke competency assessment to match job description
  • Shortlisting of candidates for interview after the assessment results
  • Client summary identifying key questions to incorporate during the interview

 

Using experts when recruiting finance staff adds value to the recruitment process. We have subject matter expertise and experience as the directors are Chartered Accountants with over 25 years experience. Whilst a recruitment agency may find the candidates, we can help with the shortlisting stage which can be very time-consuming and costly. The service offers fairness and transparency which is a key objective for public sector and non profit organisations.

This package is particularly useful for organisations undertaking in-house recruitment, saving the HR department’s time and increasing the efficiency of selecting key finance personnel. This cost effective service is ideal for those wishing to control recruitment budgets. It is also available to recruitment agencies who do not have the in-house subject matter expertise to accurately evaluate CVs,  and objectively assess those applying to senior finance posts.

Please contact us to discuss or to purchase the above package.

The 5 Step Budgetary Control Process

budget v actual computer

The 5 Step Budgetary Control Process

To ensure effective budgetary control, budgets must be effectively monitored and managed. Although the difference between monitoring and managing budgets is not clearly defined, there are certain characteristics that set them apart.

The two can be broadly distinguished as follows:

 

Monitoring budgets Managing budgets
Checking accuracy of actual income and expenditure reported; comparing “actuals” with budgets; calculating variances; identifying trends; highlighting any variations to the budget owner Taking the necessary action, based on the monitoring results, to ensure the budget remains within control.

 

The budgetary control process ensures funds are being utilised in accordance with the required level and quality of output from the allocated resources.

The process of controlling budgets can be broken down into several steps:

  • Establishing actual position
  • Comparing actual with budget
  • Calculating variances
  • Establishing reasons for variances
  • Taking action to exert control

Step 1 – Establish Actual Position

All organisations have some form of an accounting system which records their income and expenditure. Depending on the system, budgets will be identified by some form of budget code. Income and expenditure is then recorded against the budget code. This enables budget holders to identify their actual budget position at any point in time.

This information is normally provided in the financial management report. The style and content of the report will vary from one organisation to another and will be dependent on the financial system used.

To establish the actual position, the budget holder will need to examine and understand the financial information available. They will need to know how current the information is and adjust it for any outstanding transactions. These may include debtors and creditors. The budget holder will also need to know if any part of their budget has been “committed” – i.e. if goods and services have been ordered but not yet received.

Therefore, depending on the organisation, establishing the actual position may require information from several different sources.

Step 2 – Compare Actual with Budget

After completing Step 1, the information gathered needs be compared to the budgeted figures set at the beginning of the financial year. This comparison should be simple if the actual income and expenditure headings match those that were originally set.

The difference between the actual income and expenditure and the budgeted income and expenditure is called a “variance”. Variance analysis is an important technique in the budgetary control process.

Variance analysis is discussed in detail in some of our other resources, such as our book “Managing the Devolved Budget”. We also have a very good online course on the UDEMY platform called “Managing Budgets in the Public and Non Profit Sector” which explains variances clearly.

Step 3 – Calculating Variances

In the context of budgetary control, the term variance refers to the difference between actual and budget (planned) income and expenditure. An example of a variance is shown as follows:

Month 6
Budget heading Budget to date

(Expected spend)

Actual to date

(Actual spend)

Variance

+/(-)

 

Salaries

 

£120,000

 

£132,000

 

(£12,000)

 

The above example shows that by month six the budgeted expenditure on salaries was set at £120,000. However, the actual spending on salaries in those six months totalled £132,000. The difference between these two figures is £12,000. This represents the variance from the budget. In this case the variance is negative. The brackets represent over spending.

The “budget to date” column shows the amount of budget that should have been spent by month 6. Ideally, the budget would be “profiled” to reflect the pattern of expenditure over the year. Therefore, when the actual expenditure for that period is compared with the budget, the true variance can be calculated.

There are other variance calculations methods that can be used in assisting the budget holder to control the budget. As mentioned in Step 2, we have other resources that discuss this topic in further detail.

Step 4 – Establish Reasons for Variances

There are several reasons that can account for differences found between the budgeted and actual expenditure. The reasons for all variances needs to be identified. This process is critical to effective budgetary control, as the budget holder needs to know when it is appropriate to take corrective action. Variances can be both positive and negative, reflecting excess spending or under spending, or over/under performance on income. All require investigation.

The reasons for variances may include:

Error Incorrect figures entered on the accounting system
Delays Delays in entering information on the accounting system
Profiling Often incorrect budget profiles are entered, which bear no relevance to the pattern of actual expenditure and income (e.g. no account taken of seasonal fluctuations)
Poor budgeting Little consideration given to initial budget preparation
Unplanned changes For example, increases and decreases in demand for services, or introduction of new legislation

Step 5 – Take Action

Budgets can only be controlled if corrective action is taken in response to the variances. Sometimes the explanation for the variance results in no action being required. For example, timing differences. This is where the variance will diminish over time as the actual income and expenditure figures  naturally match up with the budget. Variances that arise because of fundamental changes, such as an increase in demand for a service, require action. This is necessary to regain budgetary control.

Examples of the type of action that can be implemented are given below:

  • Reduce or halt expenditure in areas where expenditure is controllable
  • Increase income
  • Make virements (moving money from one budget to another)
  • Use contingency funds
  • Delay activities
  • Redefine objectives
  • Redefine eligibility criteria
  • Change the nature of the service and how it is delivered
  • Cease or reduce services

What Next?

To effectively control the budget, it is necessary to remain focused on the future position. The calculation of the “outturn” becomes an important process as it reflects the projected financial position at the end of the financial year.

The projected outturn should be calculated on a consistent basis. This is because assumptions about changes to the budgeted income and expenditure during the year can change. It should also consider trends, known events, fixed/uncontrollable expenditure, budget profiles, supply and demand.

Learn more about how to monitor and manage budgets by reading our books or attending one of our courses. For further details visit our website www.hbpublications.com

Develop your financial skills! Take our free online finance skills assessment

budget v actual computer

Develop your financial skills by taking our free online assessment.

This assessment will identify whether or not you need to develop your financial skills further.

The assessment is a mixture of multiple choice and multiple selection questions. It is an ideal tool to assess your financial competency and identify whether or not you need to undertake further training.

You will have immediate access to a feedback report with scores for your knowledge and practical application.

If you score over 85% overall, you will be awarded a free certificate. CPD points will be awarded if you also purchase one of our books.

Take the assessment now!

Find out more

Financial Awareness for the Public and Non Profit Sectors – A 1 day CPD course

osoyoos spirit ridge meeting 04 e1506374814255

This financial awareness course is aimed at managers and those working in the public and non-profit sectors.  Whilst they may be non-financial professionals they would benefit from an understanding of finance. This programme covers financial terminology; the key financial statements; the income and expenditure account and the balance sheet. Public and non-profit sector organisations have to ensure they are viable, and the principles of accounting assist managers understand their organisation’s financial position. This course attracts CPD certification.

Programme Objectives 

  •  improve the financial competence of learners in the area of financial accounting.
  •  enhance both the underpinning knowledge of the subject and the ability to use financial information in the workplace.
  •  advance the participants skills and abilities, and increase their effectiveness in their current or future job roles.
  •  support the continuing development of management skills within the public and non-profit sectors with a view to maximising value for money from limited resources.

Programme Content

  • the importance of keeping financial records
  • accuracy and completeness in financial transactions
  • the income and expenditure account
  • the balance sheet including assets, liabilities, reserves and net worth
  • the importance of cash flow
  • developing financial forecasts for financial planning to achieve objectives
  • financial terminology

About the Trainers: Lascelles Hussey and Jennifer Bean

They are Chartered Accountants, and hold Masters in Business Administration. They are the Directors of HB Publications and Training International and have over 25 years’ experience in developing and delivering financial training programmes to the public sector. They are the authors of the “Essential Skills for the Public Sector” series of books which includes “Managing the Devolved Budget”.

They look forward to sharing their skills and expertise with the course participants.

This course will include:

  • A copy of our book “Finance for Non-Financial Public Sector Managers”
  • Course Notes
  • Illustrations/Case Studies/Practice Exercises
  • Trainer-led PowerPoint presentations

Next Date:             Coming Soon – contact us for details

Location:               Chartered Accountants Hall, One Moorgate Place, London, EC2R 6EA

Finance and Management Books for the Public Sector

Finance book presentation

 

Finance and management books for the public and non profit sectors. View our showcase video.  These titles are all available to purchase in paperback online by visiting our “Books and eBooks” page. Kindle versions are available from Amazon, and eBook versions from Googlebooks.

These books are easy to read and practical. They are ideal for managers and those working in the public and non-profit sectors. They contain exercises and self development activities to help develop finance skills. Some of the books when combined with our online assessments attract CPD certification. See our CPD courses page for more details.

Police Authority

We were approached by this police authority to provide resources for staff to develop financial management skills. This authority has decided to start the process of skills development by using our books as an effective way of introducing topics such as managing budgets and costing and pricing. The important factor being that our books and our training approach is practical and targeted at the public sector, hence being more relevant to their staff. This organisation has purchased several hundred of our titles to engage with all staff in a cost effective manner, and to start the process of developing skills and changing attitudes to managing finance.

Arts Organisation

Our training and consultancy services are delivered in a unique way which enables non-commercial organisations and their staff, engage with topics such as finance management. We are able to communicate private sector principles to the public and non-profit sectors in a way that makes sense to their particular sector. Arts Organisations often find focussing on financial management difficult as it takes energy away from creativity. However, all organisations have to be run in a way that is both viable and sustainable. We were able to help our client with this in a number of ways which included training the board members, working with the finance officer, and offering advice and input to the financial governance of the organisation. This included working on the way in which financial information is presented to assist with monitoring and control. Introducing concepts such as variances and projections proved very useful.

University

This internationally renowned university has been using our services for over 10 years. To begin with they wanted to develop a finance course for their staff including lecturers, heads of department, and Deans. Given that their focus is on the delivery of education it was always going to be challenging to encourage them to take responsibility for budgets. Time has shown how important these skills now are as the funding of higher education has changed. Universities in the UK have moved to a position where student fees now represent the majority of their funding, and new independent income streams need to be developed. Some of these are commercial in nature and financial skills are now essential for University staff. We have been able to assist in the transition and our budgeting course remains popular. In addition, we provide training on the Bribery Act and Fraud Awareness, along with Cash Handling