a person appointed by the Treasury or designated by a department to be accountable for the operations of an organisation and the preparation of its accounts. The appointee is, by convention, usually the Head of a department or other organisation or the Chief Executive of an non departmental public body (NDPB).
Section 4 Public Finance and Audit Act defines an accounting officer as a person who by any law, regulation or appointment: Is charged with the duty of collecting or receiving, or who actually collects or receives, or who is charged with the duty of disbursing, or who actually disburses, any, public (University) money Is authorised to commit or incur the expenditure of public (University) money Is charged with a duty relating to the keeping of accounts with respect to public (University) money Is charged with a duty relating to the purchase, receipt, issue, sale, custody, control, management or disposal of, or the accounting for, public (University) property or who actually keeps in the custody, controls, manages, disposes of, or accounts for, public (University) property.
a British practice whereby a senior administrative officer of a department (usually the permanent head of a government department) is assigned statutory responsibility for preparing the Appropriation Accounts of the Department and for giving evidence before the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts in relation to the stewardship of public funds. The Accounting Officer has a personal responsibility for the propriety and regularity of the public finances, for prudent and economical administration, and for the efficient and effective use of all the resources in their charge. The Accounting Officer role has its origins in the reform of British financial administration in the 1860s.