Critical Read

OMB updates financial reporting rules

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What: Appendix D to Circular No. A-123, Compliance with the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996

Why: Federal agencies are getting new flexibility in modernizing their financial management systems, per a Sept. 20 memo from Sylvia Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The new framework changes the way agencies comply with the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act (FFMIA), to eliminate some restrictions on technology products and phase out a testing and certification program for the deployment of financial management software, while paving the way for the use of shared services across agencies. The OMB has also established a set of common goals for financial management across all federal agencies. The memo also charges the Treasury Department with developing requirements for federal financial management systems.

Verbatim: "Initial efforts to implement the FFMIA resulted in burdensome compliance frameworks that contributed to outcomes that did not make sense. Specifically, financial system modernization projects all too often cost more than they should, took longer than necessary to deploy, and delivered solutions that did not meet our business needs."

Read the memo.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the About.com online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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Reader comments

Sun, Oct 20, 2013 Christopher Hanks United States

No progress will be made until legislation preceding and motivating the FFMIA - namely the CFO and GMRA laws from the 90's requiring govt agencies to produce private-sector-style financial statements (balance sheets and income statements) as if they were private-sector businesses (which they are not) - are either waived or rescinded. Audited "Statements of Budgetary Resources" (which OMB began requiring in 1998) are the only "financial statements" that make sense for government agencies that run on budgets (which is all of them).

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