Advancing Federal Financial Management

By Williams, Clifton A. | The Journal of Government Financial Management, Winter 2006 | Go to article overview

Advancing Federal Financial Management

Williams, Clifton A., The Journal of Government Financial Management

Measures, Systems and Shared Service Centers: The 2006 CFO Survey

For the past five years, the federal financial community has been steadily improving management by meeting goals established by President George W. Bush's administration. Goals are outlined in the President's Management Agenda (PMA) and the Lines of Business initiative, both managed by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Major changes are imminent, including migrating agency- and departmentlevel functions to shared services arrangements called Shared Service Centers (SSCs, formerly called Centers of Excellence). Although most survey participants support in principle the financial management goals and initiatives of the administration, many of them are worried about the details of implementing SSCs and about operating under this kind of arrangement.

About the Survey

AGA, in partnership with Grant Thornton, surveyed 164 members of the federal financial community between January and April 2006, including 105 federal executives and 59 financial managers and analysts. Except as noted, this article provides the responses of the executives. The surveys focused on measures, systems and SSCs, with additional questions on other areas of interest to the financial community.

This year's surveys of the federal financial community look at three related issues: measures, information systems and the Financial Management Line of Business (FMLOB) Shared Service Centers. Measures have always been important to determining how well government operations perform. Results-oriented government, a byword of President Bush's administration, depends on sound financial and outcome measures to determine the cost-effectiveness of departments and agencies. Developing the right measures quickly and efficiently is the job of information systems, which are also important tools for the job of financial management. The cost of financial management information systems (FMIS) has increased enormously over the years, and the federal government as a whole has not produced stellar results from these investments. Instead of having each agency develop or maintain its own FMIS, economies of scale may be obtained through FMLOB Shared Service Centers (FMLOB SSCs), which are central providers of technology-heavy financial management support services to agencies.

Measures, FMIS and FMLOB SSCs-these are among the major parts of financial management in the federal government today and the near future. All are linked, which is another way of saying that the failure of one can lead to malfunctions in the others. The 2006 CFO Survey examined each part to see how the three are related.


Measures show how an agency delivers results, both in its main mission and in support functions like financial management. The PMA measures performance, and survey respondents agreed that the results-oriented aspects of the PMA's red-yellow-green scoring system are worthwhile. Although some question the method of arriving at a score, most think that agencies are making good progress toward PMA goals.

Figure 1 shows how respondents scored their progress in achieving PMA financial management goals. In interviews, more than 40 percent say that they are moving along the way to success and another 30 percent report that they are nearly there or have arrived.

Most survey respondents said that OMB should continue with its current initiatives. However, OMB and other oversight agencies should not start any new initiatives, especially without providing funding for what are now virtually unfunded mandates. It is time to consolidate gains, said several, and to look for synergies among existing improvement activities. According to many survey respondents, the next great challenge to the financial community is to integrate measures and activities involved in program performance, budget and financial management. Better cost accounting and business intelligence systems will be essential for such integration. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)


1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited article

Advancing Federal Financial Management


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.