The Federal Budget Deficit: A Watermark for Federal Financial Managers

You would have to be “Rip Van Winkle” to not realize that the Federal Budget deficit is at the top of the list of issues facing our nation. Certainly, we see and hear about it on almost a daily basis in the media. However, we are also seeing the effect in our work places.

Agencies are offering early outs to meet head count quotas. Your local financial manager (FM) is squeezing the travel, training, and supply budgets. Of course, there is also the issue of no pay raises for civilian employees for the last two years.

For CFO and FMs managers — this is the time to rise to the challenge!!! There are no easy answers. From my perspective, the financial management community has to provide four primary services to the decision makers in their organization:
1. accurate, reliable and timely information DATA;
2. relevant and actionable ANALYTICS, turning that data into information;
3. supporting management with ALTERNATIVES AND RECOMMENDATIONS;
4. and, basic answers about what things cost using COST ACCCOUNTING .

Additionally, federal financial managers must position their leadership to communicate to key stakeholders about the financial position of the organization in an easy to understand and relevant way.

I would like to start a blog about the role of financial managers in the federal government and see if we get a mutual dialogue from both the FM’s and the consumers of FM services. Let’s start with challenging my assertion that there are four primary types of services. What else should FMs be providing during this time of fiscal challenge? What should they not be doing?

From that starting point we will discuss those topics that seem noteworthy.

Thanks and I look forward to your posts.

Gus

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