Academic journal article The Journal of Government Financial Management

Letter to the Editor

Academic journal article The Journal of Government Financial Management

Letter to the Editor

Article excerpt

Dear Editor:

I was hired because of the CFO Act so I was particularly interested to read this issue (Winter 2010). One area of improvement I have not really seen in regard to accounting is the decision to cross service accounting operations (excludes payroll). I have seen this done forfinancial systems and some accounting operations but that is really the outlier. More common is for every bureau in a departmentto have its own accounting department. In essence a department with sevento 10 bureaus has the same number of accounting departments along with multiple financial systems that are incompatible with each other.

What the federal government needs to do is to take the administrative functions, starting with accounting operations, and consolidate them so there are only four to five service providers throughoutthe federal government. There is a precedent for this - payroll processing. Like payroll, accounting operations are scalable - that is, once the base is built adding additional customers (meaning transactions) costs very little. An additional benefit would be the reduction in the number of financial systems used thereby creating additional savings. …

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