What Every Federal CFO Needs to Know

For those new to the role of chief financial officer in the Trump administration, D. Scott Showalter, professor of practice in the NC State Poole College of Management’s Department of Accounting, and his colleague Harold I. Steinberg, CPA, CGFM, provide an overview of what is needed to be successful. Their tips and resources are posted in their May 16, 2017 article on the Government Executive website.

In their overview, they explain that the “CFO role was created with passage of the 1990 Chief Financial Services Act, which established the positions of CFO (a political appointee) and deputy CFO (a career civil servant) in the 24 largest federal agencies. The law also required agencies to upgrade their financial management systems and, for the first time, to have their financial statements independently audited.

“Agencies prepare annual financial statements unique to the federal government’s needs: a balance sheet, statements of net cost, changes in net position, and budgetary resources” using financial accounting standards promulgated by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board; Showalter currently serves as chair of the FASAB. 

“The effective CFO will focus on what can be done to improve the future, rather than just meet current requirements. There are many opportunities in the present financial environment,” the authors write in the article.

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