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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

How CXOs can close the value-proposition gap

Federal financial managers received some shrewd advice last week. Stop talking like financial managers.
Stop talking about clean opinions. Don’t talk about material weaknesses. You don’t need to mention the CFO Act or the Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act.
With new leaders coming in across every agency, federal financial managers, instead, should focus on value and mission support.
Adam Goldberg, the executive architect at the Treasury Department’s Financial Innovation and Transformation (FIT), said by focusing on how the CFO’s office furthers the agency’s mission, agency budget and financial management executives can change the conversation about back-office functions.
Richard Haley, the FBI CFO, said his folks have to communicate in the language that agents and leaders use every day. He said they shouldn’t have to work hard to understand financial management initiatives.
Goldberg said it’s about shifting the conversation to talk about what the agency needs to better support agency operations.
The point of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), for example, aims to close the gap between IT, acquisition and mission areas. It forces the chief information officer into discussions about planning and procuring mission critical technology.
In the human resources world, we’ve heard about chief human capital officers begging and pleading mission area hiring managers to make decisions, review applications and are involved in every step of the process. The Office of Personnel Management issued guidance in November stressing the need to engage and empower hiring managers.
The idea behind all of these efforts is to break down the siloes that have built up over time for probably no real reason, creates layers of inefficiency and leads to the perception of a stilted bureaucracy and inefficiency.
Treasury is trying to help agencies remove these barriers for the financial management folks. The department is developing a maturity model to help agencies think about how their CFO offices are impacting mission beyond just “being the money people.”

-Jason Miller, FederalNewsRadio.com

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