2015 presented numerous challenges to the financial management workforce. Audit preparations, declining budgets, recovery from prior year furloughs and shutdowns, Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account reductions, and continuing instability across the globe put the financial management workforce in the unenviable position of doing more with less, not only within their community, but within the operational and support forces they serve. The 2015 Defense Financial Management Professionals Survey seeks insights into how the workforce is dealing with these challenges.
The survey, which included responses from approximately 200 Defense financial managers at all levels, identified the following top concerns:
- Budget reductions - The overwhelming concern of respondents was related to the budget. Two general themes emerged: the concern for adequacy of resources to sustain the readiness of the current operational force, and concern that given other budgetary pressures, funding for the financial management workforce would be inadequate to support the level of manpower and IT systems required.
- Workforce transitions - Over the past few surveys, there has been recognition the aging workforce and inability to attract new, fresh talent to the financial management community is a major problem that needs to be addressed. However, this concern has never been so clearly articulated as in this year’s survey.
- Sustaining auditability - Many respondents felt reductions in personnel and funding, coupled with other overwhelming increases in time required to build sustainable budgets in the current atmosphere of uncertainty, will overshadow the push to obtain auditability. Consequently, they are extremely concerned leadership’s focus on auditability will wane and will be overcome by operational necessities.
Despite the concerns and challenges expressed in the survey, respondents also revealed the financial management workforce is optimistic about the future and excited about developments in the defense financial management profession.
Read the full survey report