OMB, FSIO publish financial standards

The Office of Management and Budget and the Financial Systems Integration Office (FSIO) have published standard business processes that agencies will use for funds and payment management.

The standards are among several core standards that agencies are to adopt to improve financial management when they move to modernized financial systems, Danny Werfel, OMB’s acting controller, said in a memo released recently.

FSIO, an office in the General Services Administration, will incorporate the business standards into the core financial system requirements. In 2009, FSIO will update its testing methods and scenarios to make sure that financial software complies with the new business standards, said Dianne Copeland, FSIO's director. Providers of financial management systems will be expected to integrate the standards into their software to prepare for those tests, she said.

Agencies must implement the standards by moving to government or commercial shared-services providers under OMB’s Financial Management Line of Business, Werfel said in the memo dated July 18. Those providers are equipped to offer financial management systems and services to many agencies.

With standardization, agencies can provide financial data more quickly for executives to use to make management decisions. Standardization will also ensure more accurate financial data at less cost to the government, Werfel said. Agency chief financial officers should start to analyze the gap between their existing business practices and processes and these standards, he said.

In addition to these standard processes, OMB and FSIO will publish final versions of processes for accounts receivables, reimbursables and reporting later this year.

Those standards, in conjunction with the Common Governmentwide Accounting Classification Document released last year, provide the framework for consolidating financial accounting practices to improve federal financial operations, Werfel said.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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