Switzerland

Challenges 

Here are several examples which show how KPMG provides accounting support to the public sector. 

Asset accounting

A local authority set up an asset accounting system for its financial and administrative assets based on IPSAS 17 (tangible assets).

 

KPMG prepared a general concept in collaboration with the client and conducted an analysis of the current situation in the main offices. Next, KPMG helped the client prepare a detailed concept and implementation plan with the aid of coaching and reviewing. The detailed concept included information about the balance sheet and valuation, the investment process, inventory and the initial valuation and the restatement of the balance sheet, etc. Finally, implementation was carefully planned, complete with timetable.

 

This created the foundation for transparent asset accounting, for which all public offices and agencies now have clear guidelines which meet legal requirements.

Participations controlling

A canton overhauled its controlling concept for its holdings in the energy sector.

 

KPMG assisted the client in preparing a concept for controlling their holdings in the energy sector. The draft of the controlling directive defined the tasks and tools for controlling from the perspective of corporate governance and also the responsibilities. The project management team confirmed the tasks proposed for the controlling service once it was eventually set up, and the controlling tools. The tasks, roles and type of cooperation were set out in a matrix.

 

This formed the basis for creating and implementing the new procedures. The cantonal representatives on the boards of the investment companies now have access to better documentation and support.

Training in Cost and Performance Accounting (CPA) at the federal level

A large section of a department was interested in obtaining an overview of cost and performance accounting for those with responsibilities in that area.

A cost accounting seminar was planned for all management members of the section’s staff, covering the following topics:

  1. Introductory and intermediate level calculations and cost units,
  2. CPA in administration compared to CPA in industry, and
  3. Controlling and management accounting.

The seminar covered the flow of management values and information from their inception to service provision through to the client. Real world examples were used for practice so the participants could gauge their progress immediately.

Despite the large amount of material covered in the program, the NAM and CPA training sessions were very successful in improving participants’ basic knowledge.

Introduction of an internal control system (ICS)

A large division within a federal department set up an internal control system for finance-related business processes.

 

KPMG supported the project managers during all phases of the project. First the ICS was set up step by step and optimized for the centrally managed processes. It was made to be as efficient as possible so that it could also be implemented in offices away from the center. In collaboration with the process managers, the relevant risks were identified and assessed and the most suitable controls were integrated into the work processes.

 

Thus an ICS was quickly established which met the government’s requirements and was easy to integrate into day-to-day processes. The administration unit was then used as a role model for all the other units

The administration unit introduced central risk management based on the government’s risk policy. Although implementation was not mandatory for what was a third-level office, the client decided to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment for itself and its investment companies.

KPMG supported the head of Internal Audit during all phases of the project. Following the planning phase, a preliminary information session was held for all those with decision-making power over the process and the reporting structure within the administrative unit. Then local risk assessments were conducted at all investment companies. The risks were listed complete with their cause, measures and persons responsible. A risk map, which guarantees a condensed report is submitted to the next higher department, was created for each unit.

This made it possible to obtain a quick overview of the major risks within the administrative unit. KPMG’s experience and moderation skills overcame the initial skepticism of the local executives. At the end of the process, all those involved were positive about being able to openly discuss facts that were known but had never been thoroughly considered in an orderly process. Not only was this a great help to the executives at the investment company level, but also at the administrative unit level.

Armin Haymoz

Armin Haymoz

Director, Sector Head Public Sector, Schweiz

+41 58 249 20 65