What is vote book in public sector accounting?

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A vote book is an accounts book which is used to record and monitor expenditure in the public sector. The information on these books is subject to auditing to ensure that budgets are well-controlled and coincide with Financial Regulations.

Public sectors such as government and schools use the vote book system to:

• Ensure no extra-budgetary spending

• Highlight unnecessary expenditure out of the ordinary

• Show the balance available so the organization can keep on top of their finances

• Ensure that sufficient funds are available for future payments

Regular audit checks are in place to ensure that the government or a school's finances are being used prudently and in the best interest of the organization. Any inconsistencies will be noted by the auditors and subject to further investigation.

In theory, this methodical system supposedly works to help control expenditure and assist organizations with their finances. In reality, if we look at government spending say in England, the vote book system seems to have its own defects.

In England, a report printed in May 2011 exposed how the government allegedly spent three times their predicted amount to help people keep their homes during the recession. In extreme cases, countries such as Greece are struggling to maintain their expenditure figures and this has caused difficulties within the country.

An accounts book is essential to maintain control over expenditure within the public sector. However, individuals within the organizations must be prepared to cut costs and hold back on certain expenditures when necessary to succeed.

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