Financial Management:

Profile of DOD Comptroller/CFO Financial Manager

AIMD-97-97: Published: Jun 27, 1997. Publicly Released: Jun 27, 1997.

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GAO reviewed the qualifications, including formal education, training, and professional certifications, and professional work experience, of personnel serving in key financial management positions for major organizations within the Department of Defense (DOD), focusing on information obtained through biographies and profile instruments completed by key financial management staff in the DOD Comptroller's office. GAO did not verify the accuracy of this information.

GAO noted that: (1) in collaboration with the DOD Comptroller's Office, GAO identified the three Defense executives (Comptroller/Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Deputy Comptroller, and Deputy CFO) and 21 staff in the Office of Accounting Policy as the key staff responsible for DOD financial management; (2) the three executives: (a) had formal education degrees ranging from bachelors to doctorate; (b) had certifications in government financial management; and (c) had served in DOD financial management-related positions from 4 to 27 years, with two of the executives also having prior careers with congressional committees and congressional agencies; (3) of the 21 staff in the Office of Accounting Policy, 19 had responded to GAO's survey as of April 8, 1997; (4) the respondents included 3 senior executives, 14 GS-15s, 1 GS-14, and 1 GS-13; and (5) highlights from the profiles of these staff follow: (a) 18 staff held bachelors degrees in accounting or a business-related field, 10 held master degrees, 8 of which were also in business-related fields, and one respondent also held a doctorate in management; (b) 16 staff had completed courses in six or more accounting-related subject areas as part of their bachelors and masters studies, typically equating to at least 24 credit hours--the general standard for personnel serving in GS-510 accountant positions--and 14 of these staff members listed their education major as accounting; (c) 8 staff indicated that they had completed accounting-related training and 4 additional staff had completed other financial-related training during 1995 and 1996, and of the remaining respondents, 7 reported receiving training in general topics such as computers or attending professional seminars and symposiums; (d) 3 staff reported being both Certified Public Accountants and Certified Government Financial Managers (CGFM), a fourth staff member holds the CGFM and other certifications, such as Certified Cost Analyst, 13 additional staff also hold the CGFM, and 2 staff reported holding no professional certifications; and (e) the average length of professional work experience was 26 years, with 13 of the 19 staff performing tasks in several financial management-related functions throughout their careers.

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