CNPR Conference on Accounting for the Public Sector at a Time of Crisis (January 2018)
On the 17th and 18th of January 2018, the Centre for Not-for-profit and Public-sector Research (CNPR) at Queen’s University Belfast hosted the Conference “Accounting for the public sector at a time of crisis”. This took place in the stunning venue of Riddel Hall at Queen’s Management School. The conference was organised by Professors Noel Hyndman, Mariannunziata Liguori and Donal McKillop from the CNPR.
The public sector has been recently facing crises on a number of fronts. New Public Management ideas, initially introduced in the 1980s, have been robustly challenged in terms of their tendency to undermine public values and their failure to deliver better services. The rise in network arrangements, often combining private-sector, public-sector and third-sector contributions (sometimes seen as a way of making more resources available to build public-sector capacity), has been criticised for fragmenting service delivery, reducing accountability and undermining service quality. A period of austerity, following the worldwide financial crisis of 2008, has heralded swingeing cuts in public-sector spending across a range of services as governments seek to control debt and reduce deficits. Demographic changes in the context of an aging population, moreover, have made spending-choice decisions difficult to take and difficult to justify.
During the Conference, academics from all over the world discussed some of these issues, and more, with 45 delegates attending and 21 papers presented. Views and experiences from a number of countries, such as Canada, the UK, Germany and Italy, were presented. Topics spanned from ways in which accounting is mobilised in the identification and management of crises to decision making during severe budget restraint; from the adoption of business practices in the public sector to the understanding of accounting data by political actors; from the impact of economic and financial shocks on the sector to co-production and partnerships in the delivery of services. The conference is associated with a Special Issue of the journal Abacus: “Accounting for the Public Sector at a Time of Crisis”, edited by Professors Noel Hyndman and Donal McKillop.
Accounting and reporting by Northern Ireland charities: where are we and where are we going? (December 2017)
The “Accounting and reporting by Northern Ireland charities: where are we and where are we going?” Conference was organised, on the 13th December 2017, by the Centre for Not-for-profit and Public Sector Research (CNPR) at Queen’s University Belfast, in association with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and supported by Chartered Accountants Ireland. The day was a chance for academia, industry and practice to join forces and participate in a lively discussion about where charity accounting is going and how it should develop further.
The Conference, chaired by Dr. Mariannunziata Liguori (from CNPR), saw the participation of a number of important names in the area. The speakers were, in order of appearance:
• Professor Noel Hyndman (Director CNPR),
• Professor Andrew Hind (Cass Business School, former Chief Executive, Charity Commission for England & Wales, and former Chair of the Fundraising Standards Board),
• Myles McKeown (Head of Compliance and Enquiries, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland),
• Professor Ciaran Connolly (CNPR),
• Frances McCandless (Chief Executive, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland), who also chaired a final session of questions and answers.
67 people were registered for the event; among the audience, managers and accounting experts from practice and charity sector in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The Conference ended with the promise, by all the intervening parts, to meet again soon with the task to evaluate the new advancements in the sector regulation and structure.
EIASM: 11TH WORKSHOP ON THE CHALLENGES OF MANAGING THE THIRD SECTOR (June 2017)
The 11th EIASM Workshop on the Challenges of Managing the Third Sector was hosted, on the 14th and 15th June 2017, in Belfast by the Centre for Not-for-profit and Public Sector Research (CNPR) at Queen’s University. The workshop was sponsored and co-organised by EIASM, the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management. The event was also linked to a Special Issue of the Accounting, Finance & Governance Review (editors Noel Hyndman, Bernd Helmig and Marc Jegers).
The third sector (broadly defined in terms of voluntary, charitable, co-operative, religious, health and educational organisations, which operate outside the confines of the private ‘for-profit’ and public sectors) is facing a rapidly changing environment which challenges its efficient management and continuation. This includes not only financial and fundraising aspects, but also marketing, human resources and management activities. The workshop discussed the current state of the art of third sector organisations and examined the contextual conditions and organisational arrangements that can better support the effective operation of these organisations
The local organisers of the workshop were Professor Noel Hyndman (director of the CNPR), Doctor Mariannunziata Liguori and Doctor Danielle McConville (all from Queen’s Management School). Thirty-one delegates were present, covering a number of countries, including Australia, Italy, Poland, Belgium, Germany and Norway. The papers presented adopted a range of different research and methodological approaches, often interdisciplinary in nature.
CNPR Conference (Jan 2017)
On Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th January 2017 the Centre for Not-for-profit and Public Sector Research (CNPR) at Queen’s University Belfast hosted the conference “Public Services and Charities: Accounting, Accountability and Governance at a Time of Change”. Among the organisers of the conference were Professor Noel Hyndman (director of the CNPR), Doctor Mariannunziata Liguori, Doctor Danielle McConville and Professor Donal McKillop (all from Queen’s Management School).
The conference was sponsored by the British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA)’s Public Services and Charities Special Interest Group and linked to a Special Issue of the British Accounting Review: “Public Services and Charities: Accounting, Accountability and Governance at a Time of Change”.
Thirty-four papers were accepted for presentation and sixty delegates with a very international background took part in the conference, representing countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Italy, Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland and UK.
The event, that took place in the stunning venue of Riddel Hall and its courtyard, was a success and created a forum that brought together experts and scholars on topics related to both public sector and not-for-profit accounting and finance from all over the world.
CIPFA Conference (Oct 2016)
On the 11th October 2016 the CIPFA Northern Ireland 25th Annual Conference – “A new approach to public services”- took place in Riddel Hall, sponsored by the Centre for Not-for-profit and Public Sector Research (CNPR) at Queen’s University Belfast.
Important speakers from both practice and academia were present, with names of high calibre and reputation, such as Andrew Hind (Outgoing Chair of the Fundraising Standards Board), Tony Bovaird (Emeritus Professor of Public Management and Governance at the University of Birmingham), and Marie Mallon (Chair of the Labour Relations Agency).
In 2016 an ambitious programme for government was launched in Northern Ireland, proposing a new approach to service design and delivery. The CIPFA's 25th Annual Conference addressed these issues and highlighted good practice examples, from both the UK and abroad, inspiring leadership and providing a fruitful meeting point for both practitioners and scholars.
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