Reinventing Financial Management Excellence in a Changing World

Article excerpt

Several months ago, I began preparing for the upcoming AGA year and thinking about the opportunity and privilege that I have to serve the members of AGA as its 44th National President. At the PDC in Orlando, I will be briefly highlighting my goals and objectives for the coming year. In this article, would like to share with each of AGA's members the details of these goals and objectives. My hope is that these will become the basis for a shared vision for the future of AGA and would like to hear from you as to your reaction.

In one respect, the times could not be better. Today, our Association is very strong, vibrant and on a sound financial footing, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our members. During my three years as a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC), I have had the privilege of working with four National Presidents --Virginia Robinson, Dick Kusserow, Clyde Jeffcoat and Charles Harrison--whose dedication and leadership have been critical to positioning us for the future. My approach is to build on what has come before, since only through continuity and a long-term commitment will we obtain the results that are possible and move AGA to even higher levels of excellence.

The future promises interesting challenges to ACA and its members. Government at all levels is going through a major period of reevaluation and reflection which promises profound changes or, as the popular refrain calls it, "reinvention." Change brings with it tremendous opportunity but only to those who grab the opportunity. Excellent organizations, such as our Association, rise to the challenge, and we should all look forward to the opportunity that reinvention affords us to expand the horizons of AGA and the importance of government financial management.

With that said, the remainder of this article details my goals and objectives for AGA for the coming year. These thoughts were provided to our National Officers, the Regional Vice Presidents, the National Committees and each Chapter President in April so that they could begin planning for the coming year. I wanted each of you, the members of AGA for whom our Association and I as your National President are dedicated to serve, to be aware of this thinking and hopefully take an active role as AGA faces the challenges of "Reinventing Financial Management Excellence in a Changing World." Whatever we have achieved in the past and will achieve in the future depends on you and your strong support of our profession and AGA.

PROACTIVE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT LEADERSHIP

GOAL 1. Expand AGA's role as national leader on government financial management issues. Over the years, AGA and its members have played a major role in a wide range of financial management improvement initiatives, most notably the promotion of operational and performance auditing, the Inspectors General concept, the Single Audit, the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act and the Chief Financial Officers Act.

Today the world is rapidly changing, and our country faces a period of major transition in the way government operates. President Clinton spoke in his inaugural address about "Reinventing America." State and local governments have for several years faced change as they have experienced budget limitations, coupled with increasing demands for services. And the federal government is beginning to face up to the realities of its huge deficit and the public perception that government is not working as it should.

At the same time, people at all levels of government are beginning to better understand the importance of having good financial and program performance information in making tough choices and providing accountability.

AGA needs to play an important role in "reinventing financial management" to broadly encompass financial operations, systems, financial analysis (which includes the measurement of performance and the development of cost information), reporting, budgeting, auditing, program evaluation and investigation. …