ACCA’s global research reveals public sector finance professionals seek a more radical future

By on 12/09/2019

Myths about the public sector’s image as a place where little or no innovation happens are shattered in a global research report from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) called Innovation in public finance

91% of public sector respondents said some kind of innovation was happening in their organisation, with slightly less – 90% – in the private sector claiming this was the case.

Some 4,436 ACCA across 142 countries took part in the survey, with online panel discussions with 89 ACCA members across 32 countries. The level of innovation was measured across three areas: people-based, data and technology, and process innovation, with the report aiming to investigate what kind of innovation is taking place in public finance, while also looking ahead to future challenges. 

The respondents’ insights reveal a public sector that is innovating incrementally. But when asked what type of innovation is required to meet today’s complex challenges, finance professionals believe governments need to embrace more radical forms of innovation.

The report’s top three findings and recommendations for change are:

  1. Public finance professionals believe that governments need to shift from the current dominance of incremental innovation to more radical forms of innovation.
    Policymakers and public sector leaders should share a vision and strategic direction, allowing staff to understand how the organisation can proactively address the complex challenges it faces.
  2. The finance function has a critical role to play in the wider public sector innovation process.
    Public finance professionals should apply the concepts of integrated thinking and value creation through multiple forms of ‘capital’ to help in the construction and assessment of business cases for innovation.
  3. It is through the power of connections that public finance functions will be able to realise fully the desired shift to more radical forms of innovation.
    Public finance professionals should work with finance business partners to connect across the organisation and help shape a culture of innovation.

ACCA - Innovation in public finance

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