Public Sector Financial Management
We research, lecture and provide consulting services in the field of public financial management and, in doing so, are committed to the active transfer of knowledge into practice. Our mission is to seek innovative and academically profound solutions to current challenges in the financial management of government, administrative, and not-for-profit organizations with the aim of increasing efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency in dealing with public finances and donations.
IMF mission in support of the Croatian Ministry of Finance
On behalf of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Center for Public Sector Financial Management supported the Croatian Ministry of Finance in optimising and further developing its public financial management. The focus was on how public financial planning and accounting can be better coordinated. Various development measures have been defined and an implementation strategy drawn up.
Winterthur City Council workshop on financial management
We are delighted that we were able to develop a two-day workshop on the subject of financial management for the Winterthur City Council. The aim was to give the City Council a practical overview of the essential aspects of "good" financial management and to embed that in the context of public management.
Start of the research project "Stress and resilience tests for Swiss municipalities and cities".
We are pleased to start the national Innosuisse research project "Fiscal stress and resilience test for cities and municipalities" together with a strong and broad network of partners. The aim of the project is to develop an innovative approach for the sustainable financial management of Swiss municipalities and cities, focusing on financial stress situations. The focus is on deriving an algorithm to identify stress and vulnerability profiles.
Research and Expertise
In our research, we examine ways to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of the financial management of governments, administrations, and not-for-profit organizations. The focus is on their practical needs and how to meet them by means of academically based approaches and concepts. Research areas include, in particular:
- Modernization of public accounting through HRM2 and IPSAS;
- Alternative financing models in the public sector such as public-private partnerships;
- Effects of digitalization on public financial management;
- Sustainable financial management through the development of a fiscal stress test;
- Evaluation of financing decisions by NPOs;
- Financial governance and planning systems such as budgeting and medium-term planning.
Over the past 10 years, we have supported more than 50 government, administrative, and not-for-profit organizations in more than 20 countries in increasing their efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency in dealing with public finances and donations. Examples of our projects include:
- IPSAS implementation in various latin-american, central-asian and east-european countries
- Development and implementation of an integrated financial reporting system for the Federal Postal and Telecommunications Surveillance Service ("ÜPF");
- Development and implementation of an Impact evaluation Framework for Caritas Switzerland;
- Support of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the implementation of an effective and transparent public financial management system on behalf of the International Monetary Fund (IMF);
- Establishment and development of a diagnostic tool used by the World Bank to identify and evaluate public financial management practices.
- Establishment of internal control systems and risk management systems in various Swiss municipalities and cantons
Our broad national and international network of research partners and our independent research on innovative concepts and solutions help us in providing practical and scientifically grounded solutions that correspond to the latest state of knowledge.
We have a broad national and international network of reliable and experienced partners in the field of public financial management and development cooperation. In particular, we maintain strategic partnerships with:
- The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in public financial management (2018 to 2022);
- The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) in the training and further education of public sector accountants;
- The World Bank within the framework of the Public Sector Accounting and Reporting Strengthening Initiative (PULSAR) in Europe and Central Asia;
- Caritas Switzerland in the development and implementation of an Impact Evaluation model
Our current product & project portfolio
As strategic partner of various international organisations, we developed and co-published several studies regarding the modernisation of public financial management. The focus thereby is on answering questions that arise within a reform process. The latest studies can be found below:
Good Practice Roadmap to Public Sector Accounting Reform: This roadmap outlines the key issues that need to be addressed in the context of financial management reforms. You can find the Roadmap here.
Benchmarking Guide: Integrating Public Sector Accounting and Government Finance Statistics: This Benchmarking Guide outlines the differences and similarities between the Public Sector Accounting and Government Finance Statistics and shows how they can be integrated. You can find the Benchmarking Guide here.
A Good Practice Outline of the multipurpose Chart of Accounts (MCoA): The multipurpose Chart of Accounts introduced in this outline enables reporting in accordance with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). That MCoA is based on a study in which the charts of accounts of various European countries were examined. You can find the Outline here.
Our current publications
Bergmann, A., Fuchs, S., & Schuler, C. (2019). A theoretical basis for public sector accrual accounting research: Current state and perspectives. Public Money & Management, 39(8), 560–570. You can find this publication here.
Betz, R., Geissmann, T., Hediger, W., Herter, M., Schillinger, M., Schuler, C., & Weigt, H. (2019). The Future of Swiss Hydropower: Distributional Effects of Water Fee Reform Options. You can find this publication here (PDF 1,8 MB).
Bergmann, A., Augustin, L. & Fuchs, S. (2019). Bilanzorientierte Haushaltssteuerung. Expert Focus, 2019(5), 396–399. You can find this publication here.
Fuchs, S. & Grafl, A. I. (2019). Die dunkle Seite des Mondes: Was steht den Staatschulden gegenüber? You can find this publication here.
Fuchs, S. & Seiwald, J. (2018). Accountants und Ökonomen: Einzel- oder Paartanz? You can find this publication here.