Job type

Public finance accountant

£18k - £100k

Typical salary

37 – 39

Hours per week

Public finance accountants make sure money is spent properly in public sector organisations.

More info

  • Ensure money is spent properly within public sector organisations
  • You'll need maths and IT skills, analytical and problem-solving ability
  • You could move into management and progress to director of finance


  • Preparing financial records and statements
  • Estimating the cost of new projects
  • Reviewing budgets and investments
  • Monitoring spending and cashflows
  • Allocating money to projects and departments
  • Analysing the effectiveness of services
  • Managing organisations' finance systems
  • Conducting internal audits
  • Presenting to boards and budget holders


As a public finance accountant, you'll work in organisations like government departments, local authorities, housing associations, charities, the NHS or universities.

You'll need

As a public finance accountant, you'll need knowledge of economics and accounting, maths knowledge, thoroughness and attention to detail, administration skills, the ability to work well with others, ambition and the desire to succeed, good initiative, and a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications.

You could take a degree, such as in finance, accounting, business and management, or maths, and then take further professional training to qualify.

You could also get into this job through a Level 7 degree apprenticeship as an accountancy and taxation professional.

Many public finance accountants qualify with The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA). You'll need to complete the CIPFA Professional Qualification (PQ), but only if you're a graduate with an accountancy related degree, an accountant qualified with another professional body, a part-qualified accountant, a chartered internal auditor, and a graduate with the Association of Accountancy Technicians. You could also do the CIPFA PQ if you're in a senior public finance role but don't yet hold a professional accountancy qualification.

You may be able to join some larger employers directly through a finance management training scheme, where you'll usually need at least A levels or equivalent, or in some cases a degree.


With experience you could move into management and progress to director of finance. You could also move into private practice or management accountancy.