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Case 11: Government deficits and cost cu... > Case 11: Government deficits and cos... - Pg. 228

228 FInAnCIAl MAnAGEMEnT FoR non-FInAnCIAl MAnAGERS programmes have broad social outcomes. Unclear outcomes make the evaluation of benefits difficult to measure. Following the global financial crisis, many countries are strug- gling to emerge from low economic growth and high unemployment. Countries are in debt and also wondering how to cope with huge budget deficits. There is a possibility of long-term pain. Many still look to the United States to lead the world into a new period of economic prosperity, and perhaps new technological innovation will enable this. However, it has often been said that if companies managed their finances the way that governments do, they would be out of business in weeks. How does the UK government manage its finances? Not at all well, according to the National Audit Office! A National Audit Office report on improving financial management in government concluded that Whitehall departments needed to improve financial management and accounting skills. It said that government departments were weak at monitoring balance sheets and cash flow.