Bar raised for accounting software

Joint Financial Management Modernization Program Web site

Changes to a program for better federal financial management could make it harder to sell administrative software to the government.

The Joint Financial Management Improvement Program — an undertaking of four federal departments — is adding more criteria that sellers of accounting programs and other financial software must meet to qualify to sell to agencies.

"It answers the question, 'Does the software meet the core requirements we specify?' " said Stephen Balsam, a senior associate for the program. "After the last round of testing, we studied the process and came to the conclusion that we could test more thoroughly."

Government agencies must purchase software from a certified vendor if the application is being used to satisfy one of the financial management program's core requirements. If an agency has a requirement that is not in the core criteria, it can buy software from any company it chooses.

More criteria are being added as agencies contact program officials, Balsam said. Currently, qualified software must meet 1,500 benchmarks across several areas. So far, three companies — SAP AG, American Management Systems Inc. and Digital Systems Group Inc. — meet them.

Oracle Corp., PeopleSoft Inc. and Savantage Solutions Inc. are testing or are scheduled to test the products by the end of September.

Certification expires after three years to ensure that software keeps up with agencies' needs. "The fact that vendors have to take and pass these tests means they're getting educated," said Jeffrey Hoge, director of the Accounting Systems Division of the Treasury Department's Financial Management Service.

The program is a cooperative venture of Treasury, OMB, the General Accounting Office and the Office of Personnel Management.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Shutterstock image: looking for code.

    How DOD embraced bug bounties -- and how your agency can, too

    Hack the Pentagon proved to Defense Department officials that outside hackers can be assets, not adversaries.

  • Shutterstock image: cyber defense.

    Why PPD-41 is evolutionary, not revolutionary

    Government cybersecurity officials say the presidential policy directive codifies cyber incident response protocols but doesn't radically change what's been in practice in recent years.

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group