Core Competencies For Financial Managers

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Core Competencies:Financial Managersin the Federal GovernmentA Joint Project of theChief Financial Officers Council and theJoint Financial Management Improvement ProgramJFMIP-ET-99-11

Core Competencies for Financial ManagersU.S. Government Chief Financial OfficersCouncilThe Joint Financial Management ImprovementProgramThe members of the U.S. Government ChiefFinancial Officers (CFO) Council—the CFOs andDeputy CFOs of all the 24 largest Federal agenciesand senior officials of the Office of Management andBudget and the Department of the Treasury—workcollaboratively to improve financial management inthe U.S. Government. The CFO Council has become astrong force for active cooperation among agenciesdealing with common problems. Its composition ofboth political appointees and senior career civilservants ensures collaboration and continuity ofeffort.Under the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, theCFO Council was established to advise andcoordinate the activities of the agencies of itsmembers on such matters as consolidation andmodernization of financial systems, improvedquality of financial information, financial data andinformation standards, internal controls, legislationaffecting financial operations and organizations, andother financial management matters.The CFO Act legislated broad authority for eachCFO to oversee all financial management activitiesrelating to the programs and operations of theagency. With this authority, the CFO will ensure thatsound financial management practices are applied inall organizational components of his or her agencyand that modern automated financial systems andtools are used. Specific CFO authority varies agencyby agency, but may include some or all of thefollowing financial and general managementcomponents: budget formulation and execution,facilities or property management, financialoperations and analysis, financial systems, grantsmanagement, information resources management,personnel, and procurement. Information of the CFOCouncil can be found at its htmThe JFMIP is a joint and cooperative undertaking ofthe U.S. Department of the Treasury, the GeneralAccounting Office, the Office of Management and Budget,and the Office of Personnel Management working incooperation with each other and other agencies toimprove financial management practices in government.The Program was given statutory authorization in theBudget and Accounting Procedures Act of 1950 (31 USC65). Leadership and program guidance are provided bythe four Principals of the JFMIP—Comptroller General ofthe United States, Secretary of the Treasury, and theDirectors of the Office of Management and Budget, andthe Office of Personnel Management. Each Principaldesignates a representative to serve on the JFMIPSteering Committee, which is responsible for the generaldirection of the Program. The JFMIP Executive Director,and a program agency representative (who serves for 2years) are also on the Steering Committee.The Program promotes strategies and guides financialmanagement improvement across government; reviewsand coordinates central agencies activities and policypromulgations; and acts as catalyst and clearinghouse forsharing and disseminating information about goodfinancial management practices. This information sharingis done through conferences and other educationalevents, newsletters, meetings with interagency groupsand agency personnel, and through FinanceNet, anelectronic clearinghouse on the Internet.The JFMIP has worked on interagency projects thatdeveloped a financial systems framework and financialsystems requirements. For the future JFMIP plans toassist Federal agencies in improving their financialsystems through its Program Management Office. TheOffice will work on revising the Federal government’srequirements definition, testing, and acquisitionprocesses; the first target of opportunity is core financialsystems. The objectives of the Office are to developsystems requirements, communicate and explain Federaland agency needs, provide agencies and vendorsinformation to improve financial systems, ensure thatproducts meet relevant system requirements, andsimplify the procurement process.Information on JFMIP can be found at its mip.htm orcall 202/512-9201.

ForewordRecent legislation aimed at improving financial management has had a significant impact. With theenactment of the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act, Agency personnel are nowrequired to use new Federal accounting standards that are intended to provide greateraccountability and better decision-making in a cost effective manner. Requirements associated withthe Government Performance and Results Act have created a stronger and more visible link betweenthe use of financial resources and the accomplishment of program goals. Highly qualified and multiskilled personnel are needed to perform the more complex tasks demanded of Federal financialmanagers to assist in having a more efficient and effective government.The Human Resources Committee of the U.S. Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Council and the JointFinancial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP) have undertaken efforts to improve therecruitment, training, retention, and performance of Federal financial management personnel. Since1995, they have centered on a well-defined set of core competencies for financial managementpersonnel. The core competency documents articulate the knowledge, skills, and abilities that areappropriate to help individuals be successful in their jobs. A review board was established toensure the currency of these documents. Core competencies for accountants, budget analysts, andfinancial managers were reviewed. We will be issuing the revisions separately for each of theseoccupations. Note: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issues all qualification andclassification standards. Therefore, position qualification and classification standards are notincluded in these documents.For the purpose of this document, a Financial Manager is defined as: An individual who isempowered to manage the financial resources of an organizational segment, field establishment,bureau, department, independent Agency, or other organizational entity of the Federal government.A financial manager is responsible for managing/supervising financial staff services, controlling thefinancial resources of the organization, managing and analyzing financial data, developing financialpolicies and procedures, and assisting senior management in decision-making, goal development,and overall management activities. This document, Core Competencies for Financial Managers in theFederal Government, identifies financial manager core competencies under four general categories:Strategic Vision, Resource and Program Management, Human Resources Management, and General.These core competencies (knowledge, skills, and abilities) enable financial managers to meet thechallenges of today's changing environment and the future.In addition to the technical core competencies, leadership competencies must also be considered.Leadership competencies are the personal and professional attributes that are critical to successfulperformance in many occupations. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued theLeadership Effectiveness Framework (LEF). LEF defines 27 competencies that are important foreffective performance at all leadership levels within the Federal Government. OPM identified fivefundamental executive qualifications found on its website:http://www.opm.gov/ses/html/ecq4.htm.In 1998, the CFO Council approved the Statement of Principles for Federal Financial Education andTraining (Appendix A). The Statement should be used in conjunction with this document and theother core competencies documents (Appendix B). The core competencies documents will promotea better understanding of human resources development in the Federal government. If you haveany comments or changes to this document, please contact the CFO Human Resources Committee orJFMIP.

Core Competencies for Financial ManagersContentsIntroduction . 1MatrixStrategic Vision . 3Resource and Program Management . 6Human Resources Management . 14General . 16AppendicesA . Chief Financial Officers Council, Statement of Principles for Federal Financial Educationand Training . 21B Core Competencies Documents Issued for Various Disciplines . 22C List of Abbreviations . 23D Major Contributors . 24E Instructions for Completing the Generic Individual Development Plan Guide for Fiscal Year . 25

Core Competencies for Financial ManagersIntroductionThe focus of the Core Competencies for Financial Managers is to highlight the knowledge, skills andabilities (KSAs) that financial managers should develop in order to perform their functionseffectively. The matrix that follows also identifies formal developmental activities that may help to buildthose KSAs.By using these and other financial management core competencies as a guide for staff training anddevelopment, agencies will enhance the capabilities of their employees and improve their resourcemanagement performance.The matrix lists 22 core competencies for financial managers under four general categories: Strategic Vision,Resource and Program Management,Human Resources Management, andGeneral.Unlike the core competencies for budget analysts and accountants, these competencies are notbroken down into levels (entry, intermediate and senior). This is because the core competencies forall supervisory and non-supervisory staff are basically the same.While financial managers are strongly encouraged to pursue developmental activities under each ofthe four general categories, they will need to use their discretion to decide what KSAs they need todevelop most in order to perform their functions. This matrix provides a framework from whichfinancial managers can make important professional development decisions.Because the functions of financial managers vary from position to position and from Agency toAgency, not every core competency listed in the matrix may appear to be relevant to every manager.If viewed as a whole, the matrix will enable financial managers to consider the full spectrum of theirdevelopmental needs and guide their decisions.For example, a branch chief supervising employees who produce financial reports never consideredthe utility of knowing how to develop budget submissions since another branch handled thatfunction. However, because budget formulation is a component of the Resource and ProgramManagement core competencies, the branch chief decides to take training on budget formulation. Asa result, the manager is able to see how reformatting spending reports could make them more usefulto program managers preparing the next budget submission.How to Use this DocumentThis document is a guide to help financial managers and personnel when engaged in workforceplanning, career development, and other human resources functions. It should stimulate discussionbetween management and staff regarding professional goals and expectations, and the appropriatetraining choices and assignments to reach those goals. The individual and the manager should usethis guide when developing an Individual Development Plan (IDP) for the employee. A sample IDPcan be found in Appendix E. We also encourage the human resources community to use this guide,as well as the other guides in this series, when servicing their financial/budget communities.While this document attempts to provide guidance on what KSAs managers need to develop, eachfinancial manager will need to review this document closely and adapt the information to help setand achieve personal development goals. Depending on their particular responsibilities, managersmay choose to emphasize certain competencies over others. For example, a division director1

Core Competencies for Financial Managersoverseeing 300 employees may want to spend more time on human resources managementcompetencies, while a policies branch chief focuses more on program development and evaluation.In addition to listing core competencies for financial managers, this document provides guidance onhow to develop the competencies. It lists what the learning objectives should be for potentialdevelopmental activities. A variety of courses and work experiences to achieve these learningexperiences are provided for each of the four general categories. By pursuing these developmentalactivities, individuals should develop skills and expose themselves to information that will help thembecome more effective in their critical positions as resource managers.Training ResourcesAgencies, educational institutions, and commercial training providers offer a range of courses tohelp employees attain the competencies described in this document. Classroom instruction isgenerally essential to learning the basic concepts, principles and policies of all the financialmanagement disciplines. The knowledge gained must also be reinforced with practical applicationsin the workplace. And since no discipline is static, learning must be a continuous exercise, both inand out of the classroom setting.An excellent resource for financial managers to find education and training suited to their specificneeds is through the Internet. The FinanceNet s to the web pages that contain many of the course catalogs and training materials form bothprivate and public sector organizations in the education and training business.Financial managers, as all workers, will also benefit from management training in leadership, qualitymanagement, team management and oral and written communications.Conclusions and RecommendationsThe Human Resources Committee of the CFO Council, JFMIP, and other financial managementleaders throughout government have recommended and supported the development of the corecompetencies documents. The Review Boards were established to ensure the currency and accuracyof these documents. For core competencies to be most effective, financial managers and otherleaders need to fully support and promote their use within their organizations. Agencies areencouraged to share their best practices in education and training with other departments and withJFMIP for posting on FinanceNet to realize maximum benefit to the government.

Core Competencies for Financial ManagersCORE COMPETENCIES(Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or Skill in Using:)LEARNING OBJECTIVESDEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIESIdentify and interpret planningrequirements of major legislative andadministrative programs.Courses:Principles of Federal Appropriations LawStrategic planningGPRA implementationBudget formulationBudget justificationBudget executionFederal government accountingCFO ActA. Strategic Vision1.Knowledge of applicable legislative, administrative andregulatory requirements (including the GovernmentPerformance and Results Act), and the impact of thoserequirements on stakeholders, customers (and otherorganizations), Agency strategic plans and Agencyoperations.Define roles and missions of Agencyand component organizations asnecessary to carry out requirements.Work Experience:Developing strategic and operational plans.Advocating Agency and organizational positions.Managing organizations.Resolving conflicts.Testifying on behalf of Agency.Building relationships/teams with peers/subordinates.Rotating to other relevant program areas for experience.Participating in Agency planning meetings.Participating in inter-agency meetings, workgroups andprofessional organizations.2.Knowledge of the strategic planning process and how itrelates to the budget formulation process.Identify major steps of effectiveplanning and resource projectionprocesses.Identify potential linkages betweenplanning and budgeting.Describe types of information neededfor strategic planning.Courses:Strategic planningPrinciples of Federal Appropriations LawLeadershipCustomer orientation/serviceOrganizational theoryDecision makingPublic relationsGPRA implementationBudget formulationBudget executionPerformance-based budgetingPerformance measurement3

Core Competencies for Financial ManagersCORE COMPETENCIES(Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or Skill in Using:)LEARNING OBJECTIVESDEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIESProgram evaluationCost benefit analysisWork Experience:Developing strategic and operational plans.Advocating Agency and organizational positions.Managing organizations.Building relationships/teams with peers/subordinates.Participating in Agency planning meetings.3.Ability to develop creative and innovative solutions tocomplex financial, budget, and program managementissues that increase program effectiveness and customerservice, while decreasing/maintaining unit cost.Identify problem-solving methods andtechniques, such as brainstorming andreinvention exercises.Identify best practices in leveragingfunds and using available fundingmechanisms.Solve problems using appropriateproblem-solving methods andtechniques.Courses:Strategic planningBudget formulationBudget executionFederal government accountingCost accountingFederal auditing standardsLeadershipCustomer orientation/serviceDecision makingCreative thinkingProblem solvingIndividual effectivenessWork Experience:Developing strategic and operational plans.Managing organizations.Participating in Agency planning meetings.Rotating to an Agency with central responsibility for finance,budget and program management policies.Participating in inter-agency meetings, workgroups andprofessional organizations.Writing articles for professional journals, speaking beforeprofessional groups or civic organizations.4.Ability to identify problems and potential concerns,provide leadership and involve others in the decisionmaking process, and build support for options thatprovide solutions.Identify managerial and personalcharacteristics in the context of impacton operations.Describe models for decision makingand maximizing group strengths.Courses:Strategic planningCongressional operationsPresentation skillsLeadershipPersonnel management

Core Competencies for Financial ManagersCORE COMPETENCIES(Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or Skill in Using:)LEARNING OBJECTIVESDEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIESDemonstrate leadership tools andtechniques.Customer orientation/serviceOrganizational theoryDecision makingPublic relationsWork Experience:Developing strategic and operational plans.Advocating Agency and organizational positions.Managing organizations.Resolving conflicts.Testifying on behalf of Agency.Building relationships/teams with peers/subordinates.Rotating through or gaining background in other (relevant)program areas.Participating in Agency planning meetings.5.Ability to identify problems, provide leadership, andidentify creative and innovative solutions to complexfinancial management systems development issues.Identify and interpret Federalfinancial systems requirements fromthe OMB, JFMIP and TreasuryDepartment issuances.Identify functional and technicalrequirements for major financialsystem components.Design complex financial systemcomponents and interfaces.Evaluate strategic informationtechnology directions for financialsystems plans.Identify opportunities for businesspractice improvements enhanced byimproved financial systems.Understanding the concepts andtechniques of cross-servicing,Courses:FFMIACapital Programming Guide (OMB Circular A-11, Part 3)Federal procurementFinancial systems requirementsFinancial reportingContract managementWork Experience:Designing and implementing major financial systems.Developing detailed specifications for financial systemcomponents.Developing financial system strategic plans.Evaluating system development plans.Developing budget justifications for major systemimplementations.Participating in major system acquisition process fromRFP, bench marking, testing and implementation.Managing financial systems operations.Preparing A-127 reviews.Participating in inter-agency meetings, workgroups andprofessional organizations.5

Core Competencies for Financial ManagersCORE COMPETENCIES(Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or Skill in Using:)LEARNING OBJECTIVESDEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIESoutsourcing and franchising as theyrelate to the organizations needs andsupport for financial systems.6.Knowledge of all applicable Agency, legislative,administrative, and regulatory requirements that defineresource management functions and their impact onexternal organizations and Agency operations.Identify and interpret requirements ofmajor program and support areas.Define roles and missions oforganizations as necessary to carryout requirements.Courses:Federal budget processBudget planning and formulationBudget execution and funds controlFMFIAFFMIACFO Act and other reform legislationGPRAGMRAManagement Accountability and ControlPrinciples of Federal Appropriations LawFundamentals of Government procurementCash managementFederal government accountingFederal asset managementFederal auditing standardsEconomic analysisCapital Programming Guide (OMB Circular A-11, Part 3)Work Experience:Dealing with competing requirements for declining resources.Preparing organizational budget submission.Managing organization’s budget execution.Instituting management controls and conducting reviews.Planning for and managing plant, property and equipment.Managing organization’s procurement procedures andprocesses.Presenting and communicating program goals, objectives andaccomplishments, including resource requirements.B. Resource and Program Management7.Knowledge of structure for appropriations and otherfunds that support programs and mission of the Agencyand how fund management impacts on programachievement.Identify statutory and regulatoryrequirements associated with budgetexecution.Describe funds control and identifyCourses:Federal Budget ProcessBudget planning and formulationBudget execution and funds controlAppropriations Law

Core Competencies for Financial ManagersCORE COMPETENCIES(Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or Skill in Using:)LEARNING OBJECTIVESDEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIESinternal policies that ensureadministrative control of funds.Fundamentals of Government ProcurementCash managementCredit ReformFederal government accountingFederal auditing standardsFederal asset managementManagement and program analysisStrategic planningRisk analysisCost/benefit analysisManagerial accountingManagement integrityContract managementDemonstrate necessary budgetfunctions to accomplish organizationalmission within legal parameters.Explain options for maximizingresources in complex operatingenvironments.Understand the concepts andtechniques of cross-servicing,outsourcing and franchising as theyrelate to the organizations needs.Work Experience:Dealing with competing requirements for declining resources.Preparing organizational budget submission.Managing organization’s budget execution.Managing organization’s procurement procedures andprocesses.Rotating through or gaining managerial experience in a distinctprogram area.Working cooperatively with program managers to establishprogram goals, including the alignment of resources andrequirements with program goals.Assessing program performance.Identifying weaknesses and developing improvement plans.Networking with contacts of supporting organizations.Communicating program goals, objectives, andaccomplishments.Evaluating effective management controls.Instituting management controls and conducting reviews.Planning for and managing plant, property, and equipment.Presenting and communicating program goals, objectives, andaccomplishments, including resource requirements.7

Core Competencies for Financial Managers8.CORE COMPETENCIES(Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or Skill in Using:)LEARNING OBJECTIVESDEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIESAbility to assess risk and implement appropriatemanagement control systems within the Agency,including a quality assurance program; and to effectivelysupport program auditors, respond to findings andharness audit information for program improvement.Identify legislative and administrativerequirements.Courses:FMFIAFFMIACFO Act and related reform legislationAppropriations LawFederal government accountingFederal auditing standardsBasic leadership methodsManagement and program analysisBasics of performance measurementReengineering techniques and processesCIO Act – The Clinger-Cohen ActOMB Circular A-130StatisticsStrategic PlanningRisk analysisRisk assessmentCost/benefit analysisManagement integrityIdentify specific functional areasrelevant to the review andimplementation of managementcontrols.Describe roles and responsibilitieswithin the organization formaintaining and monitoring thecontrols.Relate potential impacts ofrequirements on operations.Describe approaches to working withauditors and using audit information.Relate risk assessment andmanagement controls to programperformance management.Work Experience:Developing performance plans and instituting performancemeasures.Instituting Agency management control programs.Implementing and supporting management informationsystems.Presenting and communicating program goals, objectives, andaccomplishments, including resource requirements.Rotating through or gaining managerial experience in a distinctprogram area.Providing customer feedback opportunities.Establishing program goals, objectives, and milestones fornew or existing programs, including resource requirements.Assessing program performance.Developing solutions to specific problems.Identifying weaknesses and developing improvement plans.Networking with contacts of supporting organizations.Communicating program goals, objectives, andaccomplishments.

Core Competencies for Financial ManagersCORE COMPETENCIES(Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or Skill in Using:)LEARNING OBJECTIVESDEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIESEvaluating effective management controls.Reengineering key organizational processes.Managing processes for applying technology into workflow.9.Knowledge of management and evaluation systems thatuse performance measurement and cost accounting, andthe ability to use them to achieve program objectives.Identify types of performancemeasures and what level ofinformation they provide to decisionmakers.Describe methods for evaluatingprograms with diverse customer base.Identify principles of cost accounting.Describe strategies for implementingcost accounting for strengtheningresource management.Identify potential benefits ofperformance measurement and costaccounting to strategic managementprocess.Courses:Federal budget processBudget planning and presentationBudget execution and funds controlFMFIAFFMIACFO Act and other reform legislationPublic FinanceAppropriations LawFederal government accountingFederal asset managementManagement and program analysisBasics of performance measurementReengineering techniques and processesProblem solving and decision makingCreative thinkingStrategic planningCost benefit analysisManagement integrityManagerial economicsManagerial cost accountingModeling diagnostics (statistical)Risk analysisBriefing skillsWork Experience:Dealing with competing requirements for declining resources.Preparing organizational budget submission.Managing organization’s budget execution.Instituting management controls and conducting reviews.Implementing and supporting management informationsystems.Planning for and managing plant, property, and equipment.Presenting and communicating program goals, objectives, and9

Core Competencies for Financial ManagersCORE COMPETENCIES(Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or Skill in Using:)LEARNING OBJECTIVESDEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITIESaccomplishments, including resource requirements.Rotating through or gaining managerial experience in a distinctprogram area.Developing and instituting performance measures.Providing customer feedback opportunities.Establishing program goals, objectives, and milestones fornew or existing programs, including resource requirements.Assessing program performance.Developing solutions to specific problems.Identifying weaknesses and developing improvement plans.Networking with contacts of supporting organizations.Communicating program goals, objectives, andaccomplishments.Evaluating effective management controls.Reengineering key organizational processes.Managing processes for applying technology into workflow.10.Ability to acquire and analyze financial data andcommunicate the results to a diverse audience. Ability toestablish and maintain an integrated financialmanagement information system, including theestablishment and maintenance of appropriate internalcontrols to ensure the generation of timely, accurate, andconsistent financial informati

Financial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP) have undertaken efforts to improve the recruitment, training, retention, and performance of Federal financial management personnel. Since 1995, they have centered on a well-defined set of core competencies for financial management personnel.

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