Panel sets new bar for finances

70 percent of agencies expected to replace core management systems in coming years

JFMIP Core Financial System Requirements

The federal government, which is hoping commercial software will help improve its muddled bookkeeping, announced new standards last week that vendors must follow when selling financial management systems to agencies.

The Core Financial System Requirements document, the first revision to the standards in three years, forms the centerpiece of an ongoing governmentwide effort to improve federal financial management systems by enabling agencies to use commercial software rather than more expensive customized packages.

For years, agencies have been taken to task by their inspectors general, the General Accounting Office and Congress for their sloppy accounting practices. In March, Rep. Stephen Horn (R-Calif.) gave agencies a C-minus grade overall for financial management.

The requirements, published by the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP), are particularly important now because they come as many federal agencies face transitioning to new financial systems, said Angela Carrington, a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers' Washington, D.C., consulting division.

About 70 percent of agencies are expected to purchase new core financial management systems in the coming years, Carrington said. Many agencies will be moving from customized systems with many stand-alone applications, to the new, more integrated commercial systems, which are expected to help agencies do a better job of tracking financial data.

In addition to setting standards for federal financial systems, the requirements serve as the basis of the JFMIP tests of commercial financial management packages. JFMIP must certify financial packages before vendors can pitch them to federal agencies.

JFMIP assumed responsibility for testing financial management systems in 1999, certifying products for three years, so most of those certifications will expire Sept. 30, 2002. JFMIP officials wanted to establish the requirements in time to give vendors a chance to respond and get certified under the new set of requirements.

JFMIP is a policy group that includes GAO, the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management and the Treasury Department.

Karen Cleary Alderman, JFMIP's executive director, said the new document, which is about 100 pages long, makes changes by clarifying existing requirements, deleting outdated requirements and incorporating new requirements.

These changes are only minor revisions to the draft version of the document, which was published this summer, Alderman said. Many of those changes are somewhat technical — for example, requiring that systems be able to revise accounts as changes occur during transactions.

The JFMIP requirements have helped agencies by creating a marketplace for financial systems, said David Kleinberg, a former Transportation Department chief financial officer who is now a consultant.

By setting federal standards, government vendors are forced to focus on agencies' particular requirements, he said. "There is a huge amount of detailed tracking that they don't have to do in the private sector," he noted.

Each time JFMIP adds to the financial standards requirements, however, it creates new barriers for vendors that may want to enter the federal market, Kleinberg said. Additional requirements may increase standardization across the government, but they also narrow competition because vendors must spend additional money to meet the federal requirements.

But Kleinberg also said that the process has been working very well. The JFMIP requirements have forced commercial financial systems to improve — thereby helping agencies, most of which buy a new financial system once every 20 years.

Alderman said that JFMIP received nearly 800 comments on the draft document. "A lot of the comments were 'What do you mean by this and that?' " Alderman said. "Those comments are appreciated, and it is an indication that people are paying attention to the requirements."

The full document is available on JFMIP's Web site at www.jfmip.gov. JFMIP Core Financial System RequirementsThe governmentwide group also plans to hold a forum in early January to provide more information about the new core financial system requirements.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.