CIPFA establishes 'boots on the ground' in North America


by Claire Lake, Director, CIPFA North America

CIPFA established 'boots on the ground' in Ottawa, Canada in 2016, employing local resources Baiame Consulting Ltd to help further its international presence in North America and the Caribbean.  

The aim of CIPFA’s work in North America is to deliver CIPFA’s professional services, products and thought leadership to finance professionals working in the public sector. The strategic plan is to build CIPFA's credentials and policy voice across the region and therefore we are very active in promoting the services CIPFA offers and leveraging and solidifying relationships with a range of organisations. This is with the view to cement CIPFA’s position as the leading public sector financial management organisation. 

Since beginning our work in late 2016, we have successfully delivered or have been engaged to provide the following services:

  • Government of Canada Treasury Board CFO and Deputy CFO (DCFO) NextGen Training: Partnering with the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Canada, we provided a six-day course adapted from CIPFA’s Leadership Academy training, which was spread over three months to the next generation of CFOs and DCFOs in the Canadian Federal Public Service. The course included both public and private sector guest speakers from multiple organisations, at senior levels to help illustrate the importance of leadership skills. Participants were able to get hands-on experience with the course as individuals were called to put lessons into practice in their daily jobs.
  • Government of Canada Treasury Board Financial Management (FM) Model Pilot: working with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s (TBS) Office of the Controller General (the central agency responsible for setting and monitoring financial management and associated policies, directives and requirements), we will pilot the first FM Model implementation in 2019.
  • Intergovernmental Colloquium: Working alongside TBS, we are undertaking thought leadership in the areas of talent management and emerging technologies to support the colloquium, which is due to be held in Dallas in September. A number of ministries of finance will be attending this event from countries such as the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK and will discuss policy issues and opportunities for collaboration, thought leadership and best practices.  
  • Conference participation: working with partner organisations such as the Financial Management Institute (FMI) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), we have presented at four events across Canada and the US in 2017 on topics such as the Whole Systems Approach, the FM Model, innovation and counter fraud services.  

All of these undertakings have set the stage for 2018 and beyond, where our focus will consist of four parts: deepening our relationships at the federal level with both the US and Canadian Treasuries; turning our attention to the provincial and state levels of government; working with higher education to include CIPFA content in post-grad programmes; and continuing to support international organisations.

This year is proving to be a busy one, as highlighted above, but we are also  developing a white paper on innovation in financial management; working with the Government of Canada on developing a White Paper on talent management; discussing with the Ontario Treasury Board ways to pilot the FM model in the province; collaborating with Rutgers University in New York to determine how best to support its Masters in Accountancy programme and the potential for certification upon graduation; providing ongoing support to the United Nations bodies and other international organisation; as well as working with several other organisations to provide financial management training.

This article first appeared in The Accountant.

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