United States

Shared Finance Services and Standardization: Can One Size Fit All?

Jul 11, 2013
From the Government Institute

While federal agencies' missions may greatly differ, they have in common the stark realities of current spending pressures, an unsustainable long-term fiscal future, and ever-growing expectations for accountability, transparency and improved performance.

At the same time, agencies have opportunities to leverage information technology (IT) in ways not imaginable even ten years ago. Against this backdrop and faced with reducing program costs or paring overhead costs, agencies are beginning to accept that basic financial management systems and operations simply do not need to be tailored to each agency.

They are now more amenable to moving to shared service providers (SSPs) and common systems for administrative operations, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has been encouraging this trend.

This article, reproduced with the permission of the Association of Government Accountants (AGA), was first published in the summer 2013 issue of AGA's Journal of Government Financial Management. It explores the challenges faced in moving to SSPs and letting go of day-to-day administration of basic accounting functions that have long characterized federal financial management.

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