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The Future of Federal Financial Management

A New Role For Federal Chief Financial Officers

The Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) of federal agencies are in a unique position to build trust in the efficiency of government. They have an enterprise-wide view and can quantify what an agency's programs achieve and how much they cost to operate. They are particularly well-suited to educate the public on the costs and outcomes of federal programs.

This chart shows federal financial management maturity levels. The chart illustrates a stair-step progression from lowest to highest, and shows that the higher financial management maturity climbs, the more it can focus on data-driven decisions to improve performance. At a lower level of maturity, the focus is on processing and operations. Each step represents a level. The first level is core budget and accounting operations. The second is financial and regulatory controls. The third is data management and analytics. The fourth is communicating results. The fifth is strategic planning and mission support.

Many of today's CFOs are striving to serve their agencies and the public in this manner. Too often, however, the CFO has to spend a disproportionate amount of time on the administrative tasks of processing financial transactions and the associated reporting burden.

Looking to the future, Treasury can relieve the CFOs of these administrative tasks so they can refocus on harnessing their agencies' financial and performance data to improve program performance.

This enables a broader role for the CFO that is based more on the use of financial data for program performance and transparency, and less on financial transaction processing. In the future, the CFO will serve as a more complete steward of an agency's financial resources. Whether analyzing agency expenditures with an eye toward productivity - or reporting on agency performance to the public -  this is the broader role that many CFOs are currently working toward. In the future, the CFO will play a key role in increasing the transparency of federal financial and performance data and, thereby, building trust in federal financial management.

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Annual Fiscal Service Letter to Chief Financial Officers

Kim McCoy

Meet the new Commissioner of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service and read the 2018 Annual Fiscal Letter to Chief Financial Officers.

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Thought Leaders

The latest insights and best practice concepts from private sector and federal financial management experts.

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Last modified 07/31/18