Academic journal article The Government Accountants Journal

About the 1997 CFO Survey

Academic journal article The Government Accountants Journal

About the 1997 CFO Survey

Article excerpt

Purpose of the Survey

This is AGA's second annual CFO survey. Those familiar with last year's results know that the survey was received with interest by the financial management community. What you may not know is thatthe CFOs themselves have seized this as an opportunity o engage in a dialog about issues of concern to them, but for which they don't necessarily have all the answers. The opportunity to speak off-the-record without attribution was taken by some as a chance to vent, by others to reveal their progress or uncertainties.

This supports the reasons the AGA Emerging Issues Committee gave for initiating the survey:

Develop a sense for the challenges CFOs are now facing;

Share findings with our colleagues within the federal financial management community;

Provide a forum for candid discussion of

progress or problems; and

Keep AGA inthe forefrontof emerging issues.

Approach to the Second Annual Survey

This year's survey builds upon the lessons learned from the first Forthose conducting the interviews and writing this report, it was both easier and harder. It was easier because we had a template to follow and a process we knew would work. It has been harder because of the need to go beyond the issues we saw emerging last year and to focus on those just now coming to light.

This year's interview guide included fourt ypes of questions. The first asked CFOs to rate their organizations on several factors, now and what theythought would bethe case in five years. This was designed to get the interview flowing with some "easy" topics, but in fact generated many interesting observations.

The second set of questions asked which technological areas from last year's survey were priorities now. The third group of "true-false" questions included potentially inflammatory statements we'd heard from CFOs or others. …

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