Monday, July 16, 2007

Federal Agency CFOs Say Present Reporting Requirements Too Cumbersome

Financial managers of Federal agencies and bureaus argue that CFO Act compliance is taking up too much of time and resources. Of the 132 respondents to the Grant Thornton/AGA survey, estimated time spent on financial compliance was 25% as compared to 19% on strategic planning/decision making. Survey respondents criticize the CFO Act as providing diminishing returns and keeping management from more desirable activities. Part of the complication includes "tag-ons" to the original legislation, including a OMB Circular (A-123) requiring internal control analysis.

Even assuming that the remaining 56% of management time is used productively on items such as training and supervising employees; I am not overly sympathetic--though to be fair, I have not "walked in the shoes" of these managers. Given the massive amounts of taxation and spending that American citizens support, it IS imperative that Federal accounting be as thorough and transparent as possible. Only in recent years have Federal accountants faced the level of government limitations and oversight which accountants for private enterprises have experienced for decades.


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