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Thursday, June 28, 2007

CFO Survey Released by AGA and Grant Thornton

For immediate release: June 28, 2007

Contact: Mike Hettinger
Grant Thornton LLP

CFO Survey Released by AGA and Grant Thornton
11th annual survey examines oversight, compliance efforts

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2006 ¾ Grant Thornton LLP and the Association of Government Accountants today released the 11th annual survey of Federal government Chief Financial Officers. The report, Scoring Financial Management & Oversight Efforts, was distributed earlier this week at AGA’s annual Professional Development Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

More than 100 Federal financial executives and managers took part in the survey, which looked at balancing competing priorities, barriers to progress and the Office of Management and Budget’s Financial Management Line of Business initiative. This year’s survey also turned the tables and let financial managers evaluate their evaluators – the Government Accountability Office, the Office of Management and Budget, Inspectors General and Congressional committees.

Generally, survey results suggest that resources are not balanced between meeting compliance requirements and adding value to program decision making and that more consideration should be given to risk mitigation. Many survey respondents said that the government pays too much for financial management compliance and receives too little in return. Oversight groups should understand that they can have both positive and negative effects, and if they could agree on governmentwide priorities for financial management – and integrate the compliance process – this would help set the stage for fundamental reforms.

"The building blocks for effective financial management are there, we now need to find the most effective way to bring them together", said Clifton Williams, a Partner at Grant Thornton and principal author of this year’s survey.

Relmond Van Daniker, Executive Director of AGA added, "This year’s survey really highlighted the fact that today’s federal financial managers are walking a tightrope as they attempt to balance the competing priorities of compliance with strategic decision making."

About the Association of Government Accountants
The Association of Government Accountants, founded in 1950, is dedicated to the enhancement of public financial management. AGA serves state, local and Federal financial managers – more than 14,000 members, including professionals in accounting, administration, auditing, budgeting, consulting, grants, fraud investigation and information technology. AGA has been instrumental in developing accounting and auditing standards and in generating new concepts to improve financial management functions. AGA conducts independent research in all aspects of government financial management. These studies, including the 2007 AGA CFO Survey, make AGA a leading advocate for improving government fiscal administration and program performance. For more information, visit http://www.agacgfm.org/.

About Grant Thornton LLP
Grant Thornton LLP, founded in Chicago in 1924, is one of the largest accounting and management consulting firms in the world. Grant Thornton’s Global Public Sector, based in Alexandria, Va., is a global management consulting business with the mission of providing responsive and innovative financial, performance management, human capital management and systems solutions to governments and international organizations. To learn more about Grant Thornton’s Global Public Sector, contact us at 703.837.4400 or visit www.grantthornton.com/publicsector.

An electronic version is of the report is available at:
Grant Thornton Global Public Sector Publications

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