Taking the Boredom Out of Financial Management and Controls
Financial management and controls have been one of the bread and butter staples of overall management for many years. Yet today they are more essential than ever as a key ingredient in a well run public sector environment. In an ever increasingly complex world within and surrounding us, it is critical that organizations have strong policies, practices and procedures making up their basket of financial management and controls. While the responsibility to ensure this is working well rests with those running an organization, there are also expectations upon auditors to provide valuable insight on how well these are working. The Auditor General of Nova Scotia has made examining and commenting on a broad spectrum of such critical matters a key part of his 5 years as AG to date. This has included work on financial audits and separate performance audits of various aspects of these systems and practices. The work of the Office of the Auditor General on financial management and controls has been the centre of media coverage in NS and nationally in the recent past. For example, the National Post reported on the progress of the Government of Nova Scotia in managing fraud risk as reported on by the Auditor General. In addition, there have been numerous interviews, articles and features on the state of controls reporting by the AG, clearly showing that what gets reported and how you report it can bring light to this seemingly dry topic
Auditor General of Nova Scotia
Mr. Pickup is in year 5 of his 10-year term as Auditor General of Nova Scotia. He leads an Office which reports to the Nova Scotia Legislature approximately four times a year on financial and performance audits. He and his team deliver roughly ten performance audits a year, as well as audits of the Province’s financial statements and selected government organizations. Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Pickup spent nearly a quarter of a century working at the Office of the Auditor General of Canada both in Ottawa and in a regional office. He was responsible for numerous financial and performance audits with a focus on financial management and control. He also taught at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa as a part-time professor on many occasions.
The Auditor General is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA) and will become a FCPA, FCA effective November 3, 2018.
Mr. Pickup currently serves on CPA Canada’s Audit and Assurance Standards Board as 1 of its 14 voting members. This Board sets professional standards for auditors across Canada in both the private and public sectors. Prior to this he served on the Public Sector Accounting Board Task Force that defined generally accepted accounting principles for the public sector.
In his free time, Mr. Pickup became a self-published author in late July 2018 with his first book titled “Nan-Made: How a Grandmother Made a Man”. This first book is a collection of 25 short stories honouring his recently deceased grandmother. The book has found commercial success and has spent many days in August 2018 as a Number 1 Best Seller on Amazon Canada in its classification and has also made the top 100 Best Seller books on Amazon for self-help books with hundreds of thousands of titles available. Mr. Pickup has also done a number of television, radio, and print media interviews on this book and his journey.