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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Financial Management: Elevating CFOs: Count the ways

"Federal CFOs and their colleagues from Congress, the executive branch and private industry are seeking ways to make government realize the role of a CFO is more than just writing financial reports and counting beans.

Despite the passage of 'alphabet soup' laws such as GPRA, the Government Performance and Results Act, agencies still are far from making accurate, reliable accounting a priority, Mike Hettinger, staff director of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Management, Finance and Accountability, told a recent panel discussion in Washington.

'There's a host of underlying feeder systems that are not generating data that is timely, accurate and reliable,' he said. 'We're still plugging some not-reliable data into the same systems.'

Performance-based budgeting, a method of presenting program performance data alongside budget amounts, is another way that CFOs can elevate their role. The ultimate goal is to improve budget decision-making by linking funding choices directly to program results. "

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