OMB releases standard accounting approach

The Office of Management and Budget has released the Common Governmentwide Accounting Classification (CGAC) structure that standardizes business processes, interfaces and data.

In the fall, OMB and the Financial Systems Integration Office (FSIO) will publish a sequencing blueprint. Agencies then will develop plans to implement it, said Linda Combs, OMB controller.

The common accounting structure supports the aim of the Financial Management Line of Business initiative to improve the cost, quality and performance of financial management systems.

'With the adoption of the CGAC structure, agency systems will be better able to capture and report financial information in a consistent manner,' Combs said in a memo accompanying the document Aug. 7.

The accounting method identifies classification elements, establishes standard names and definitions, and aligns similar codes used by OMB and the Treasury Department. Agencies can start by adopting the standard terminology and definitions, conducting an inventory of systems that the new approach will affect and applying the common structure to new system implementation projects.

Over time, the common structure will be mandatory,  and will be incorporated into the core financial system requirements, and systems will be configured to support it. Agencies are expected to adopt the common accounting structure when they implement a new financial management system, make major upgrades to their existing financial systems or move to a shared-services provider.

FSIO, part of the General Services Administration, also issued the latest version of the due diligence checklist for federal shared-services providers under the FMLOB initiative. The checklist, part of FMLOB Migration Planning Guidance, helps customer agencies assess the abilities of shared-services providers in technology hosting, application management, system implementation and business process transformation.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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