ALEXANDRIA, July 30, 2012 — The Association of Government Accountants (AGA) and Grant Thornton LLP today release the 17th annual survey of federal Chief Financial Officers (CFO). The survey discusses how CFOs use cost-cutting, performance management, and the drivers of high-performing organizations to help their agencies through today’s financial storms while continuing to produce results for the American public.
The AGA and Grant Thornton LLP collected responses from over 300 federal CFOs and their workforces, including in-person interviews with 115 senior executives and managers to produce the survey findings.
The current financial climate creates a challenging task for CFOs. The survey finds that one of the key ways the CFOs are weathering these storms is by nurturing and protecting their workforce. Another key finding is that the President’s Campaign to Cut Waste is a lot of work. Every President has a financial and management agenda, and CFOs understand that it is their job to implement it.
“Across all levels of government, we are seeing accountability professionals under constant pressure to contain costs and still produce results,” says Relmond Van Daniker, AGA’s Executive Director. “Because of the large amount of funding involved and its impact on the other levels of government, insights about federal finances are critical to understanding how government is going to respond effectively to these continuing pressures.”
The survey also found that CFOs have a strong culture in their organizations, and that culture aids both the offices and their agencies in achieving results. With smaller staffs driving up workload for the remaining staff, continuing pay freezes driving morale down, and elections making the federal workforce fair game for attacks, CFOs are going to need that strong culture to keep everyone focused on results.
“Federal agencies may have less funding available to them, but they are getting no relief from the need to provide high-quality services for the American people,” says Srikant Sastry, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton’s Global Public Sector. “Continuing budget cuts, employee pay freezes, late appropriations, the specter of sequester, and trillion dollar deficits make the CFOs job not for the faint of heart.”
Other points identified by the survey include:
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About the Association of Government Accountants
AGA is the premier Association in advancing government accountability. We support the careers and professional development of government financial professionals working in federal, state and local governments as well as the private sector and academia. Founded in 1950, AGA has a long history as a thought leader for the government accountability profession. Through education, research, publications, certification and conferences, AGA promotes transparency and accountability in government. www.agacgfm.org
About Grant Thornton LLP
Grant Thornton LLP is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd. Grant Thornton International Ltd and its member firms are not a worldwide partnership, as each member firm is a separate and distinct legal entity. In the U.S., visit Grant Thornton LLP at www.GrantThornton.com.
Grant Thornton’s Global Public Sector, based in Alexandria, Va., is a global management consulting business with the mission of providing responsive and innovative financial, performance management and systems solutions to governments and international organizations. We have provided comprehensive, cutting-edge solutions to the most challenging business issues facing government organizations. Our in-depth understanding of government operations and guiding legislation represents a distinct benefit to our clients. Many of our professionals have previous civilian and military public sector experience and understand the operating environment of government. Visit Grant Thornton’s Global Public Sector at www.grantthornton.com/publicsector.
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