Continuing Professional Education: Federal GS-510 Accountants' Report

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-12-01.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

           Jdnt Fhanc~l~~em.ent                       liw.t               Pngvam

The Joint Financial Management Improvement Progmm (JPMIP) is a joint cooperative
    umkr&ng     ofthe Office ofManagement and Budget, the General Accounting Office, the
Department ofthe Treasury, and the O&e of Personuel Management, working with each other
and with operating agencies to improve &ran&l management practices throughout government
The Program was initiated in 1948 by the Secretary ofthe Treasury, the Director of the Bureau
ofthe Budget, and the Comptroller General, and was given statutory authorization in the
Budget and Accounting Procedures Act of 1950. The Civil Service Commission, now the Of&e
of Personnel Management, joined JPMD? in 1966.

The overall objective ofthe JPMIP is to make improvements that contribute signikantly to the
eEe+ve and efhcient operations of governmental programs. Activities aimed at achieving this
objective include:

       -    Developing genexal objectives in those areas of common interest to the central
            agencies for guiding the improvement of financial management aaoss government
            and promoting strategies for achieving those objectives.

       -    Reviewing and coordinating central agencies’ acdvities and policy promulgations
            affecting fmancial management to avoid possible conflict, inconsistency, duplication,
            and contbsion.

       -    Underuking projects and special reviews of siguificant problems and new
            technologies in Gnancial management and publishing the findings and conclusions.

       -    Acting as a catalyst and cleariughouse for sharing and disseminating financial
            management information about good financial management techniques and

       -    Reviewing the fiuancial management efforts of the operating agencies and serving as
            a catalyst for further improvements.

The JFMTP plays a hey role in mobii        resources and coordinaung cooperative efforts in the
improvement of financial management practices, and relies on the active participation of federal
agencies to be successful. The Joint Program is guided by a Steering Committee consisting of
key policy officials from each of the sponsoring agencies. A hey official from a program agency
also serveson the Steaing Committee. A small staffheaded by an Executive Director provides
support to the Committee.
            JOINT    FINANCIAL        MANAGEMENT
                 IMPROVEMENT           PROGRAM

             MEMOUNDUM                        TO:    President3 Councii OnManagement Improvement
                                                     Comptrollers Roundtable
                                                     Other FederalFinankiManagers

             suBJEm                                  Contin&   ProfizssionaiI&cation for PederaiAccountants
             Inadequati ithan& systemsaud seriousinternai contro1weaknessesin’the federai government
             have beenidentiiied for riori attention Long-term e&its toovercome theseweaksses will
             shrink further unlesswe start nowto systematicaliy reb d our in-houseexpertise.
             This report documents the rest&s of the JPMIP’s reject on’continuing profkssionai education for
             ~‘accountants.The        ‘report was developedby & e Jaum),,project teamwith assistanceand advice
             from federal firianciai managers,academi&ans,and practitioners: It provides a statement of federai
             accountauts~major, functions in such areasas (1) ,technicalguidance; (2) iuternal control;
              (3) fhanciaI adysis andreporting; (4) systemdevdo ment;~operation, and maintenance; and
              (5) supervision&adershi ,.andcomnmnkation, FIlrtL r, .itt;providesalist of subject areaswhich
             cover the iuiowkdgq slcl&* , and abrhuesof federal accountantsand of themajor federai guideiines
             that accountantsmust apply. FinaUy,,it provides a continuing professional .educationmodel asa
             guide to agencies.                                                ‘.
             Becauseaccounting infbrmation rovides the foundation fbr, sound &an&i decisions,we
     8.      recommend that continuing pro ifs sionai education for federai accountants be incorporated into
             longknge plans and impiemented by departments and agenciesf&improvement of financial
             management. Further, we recommend that OMB encouragea continuing education poiicy for
             federal accountantsand provrde monetary commitment for it. Such action could be a key mgredient
             in the effective implementation of the ChiefFinanciai OfEcers Act of 1990.
                                                     TheJFMIP Steering Committee:

             JamesB. Lancaster,Jr.
             AssociateDirector for Administration
             OfFiceof PersonnelManagement

             Dennis J. Fischer
             Deputy Assistant Secretaryfor Finance                      Executive Director
             Department of Heaith and Human Services                    Joint Financki Management Improvement
               666 11th Street,    N.W., Suite 705
                     Washington,   D.C. 20001
;,    I.”      .,,., .>                 ,

                                                                                                   -~-.   _-      -.--.--.._,
              Continuhig prc&wi&aI e&ation~(Cl?E) tir federal accountantsis vital to
          keep pacewith the vast changes$I j%deraLfin@ operations due to legal,
          reguIatory, standard, and technological deveJ9pments.The government, @wever,
        ’ do+ not offer +I effective CPE program t.0meet thesechangesand mabrain the
          ,.,      professionaI competency of its 12,000 GS-510 accountants.
                                                       .,   ,’
          PR@IECT~bBJBC~S                AND SCOPE
           TheJoint FinanciaI ManagemexUnprovement program (JFMll?) Steering
         c&xn.miW $qxtd its staffto review accguntant tmining needsthrou&,the
         1990s anddeveibp a comprehensive academicand continuing education,state-
1        ment in the interests of upgradkg the professionalism of kkxa.l accountants.
         The project staffdeveloped and circulated f& comment statements listing federal
        raccountants’fbnctions; knowledge, skills, and abilities; and education needs.

            Financial managersin all departments and major independent agencies
         respondedin a very positive man&r to the proje& statementsof accountants’
        ‘primuyfim$ons; lcnowIedge, skiUs,and abilities; aiid continuing education
         needs.They said that these statementswere comprehensive and needed.
           iihnagers also requestedcontinuing professional education that focused on
         applying federal requirements. The subject areasfor which agenciesshould
         provide educational opportunities fbr their entry- and career-levelaccountants
         cover the knowledge, skills, and abilities that accountantsapply in carry+ out
         their primary functions: (1) technical guidance; (2) internal controk (3) &n&I
         analysisand reporting; (4) systemdevelopment, operation, and maintenance;
         and (5) sup&vi&n, &adqship; and qnm&ic&ion.
            To guide agenciesin making and implementing plans fbr continuing
        professional education, the project team developed a combing professional
         education (CPE) model. FederalfinauciaI manageis, careerdevelopment
        managers, and education speci&xs should use this.Cl?E model, functions state-
         ment, and suggestededucation list to develop ok improve their contjnuing educa-
         tion pky@r fAq$l a~~untants. Individual acukntants .F encoumged @ e
         thi$Urmatibti    to’ a&s their current expertise and pIan,$heircon&wing educa-
         tion. Agency management is also urged to incorporate Cl?E into federal account-
         ant position descriptions, monitor the completion of CPE, and’assesscompIiance
        ‘in annual perfbrmance appraisalsof the accountantsand their supervisors,

  Continuing education of &eraI entry- and career-levelaccountantsinvoIveq
the commitmeni bfnxkii@&nt in ceidd ii&i program agencies.To implement
tmihm strategks for improving continuing education and proksionalis~ we
recokmendthq             ., ,,‘.           .’ ‘,
  1. s~~~~~,~n~~~~~~~p~~~‘~r                 aeh accoufltafit andpmtide
       monetarycommiqzntforit.            ,,
     2. ldude in GS-510 position~dexrip~ogs a rkquirement that accountants
        should obtaiq ? @st ?Qhours ofrelevaqt continuing education every 2
        yearsatid inc6rpokt.e this requirement iu thy +ex+ careerdevelopment
,’     program.

     3. Iixorpora~ thk functions statement for federal accountantsinto agencyjob
        or position descriptions in whole or by relkxxe.
     4. Develop or update continuing education plans fbr accouutauts,using this
        report as a guide, and also
        & Monitor thy completion of CPE and
        b. Assess,iu annual pe&rmance appraisals,supervisor and
           mployee compIiance with the agency’scontinuing education

     Support a continuing education p~%cyfbr fkderal accouutautsand provide
     monetary commitnknt fk it

     Il+x@orate by refkrencethe functions statement for kderal accountantsinto
     the governmentwide GS-510 accouritant classification standard,
         .(. .Z.‘.,.,.,,..,_
                     ._ _..__.._.I..       ,,,, -. _-.-.‘-
                               --. ..I_ ,......-.

                                                   -.-. ____----   -.--.- --__----.-..-..~I
EXE~SUMMARY                                I . . . . . . . . . . -.~*‘.,.............,,,,,.I                        iv

INTRODiJtiON                  . . . . ..I.................................                                           1
  The Role of,& Federal kc&want                         . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
PROJECT O~JECIWES    AND t$~Ol?E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..I...      4
               ... :             ,’
~PROJl3CXACCOMPL.ISHMENTS ANDJU3SuLTS                . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
” JFMII? Devehpmerit~Efforts . . 1..%.........................*.....                                                 5
  Functions~Stati~ent . . . . . . . . .7. . . . . . . . . . ..i..............*.......
                                                            ’                                                        ‘5
  Education Areas fbr FederalAccouhtanti . . ..C......................                                                7
  PederaI Guidance to be Applied,by Account&s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
  FederalAccountant Qualification Standard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
  C@inuing Pr’ofessionalEducation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
      ~CpEModeIandAgenkyImplemen~tiofl.                                   :. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
       Relevant CoQrsesAre OfknDifIhlt                          to Pind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
       Fundin%bB . . . ..i.....w................................                                                   13
       Monit&ngCl%              .........................................                                          13
     Other Studies Promoting Fuhther CPE ........................                                                  14
  Ongoing Efforts to Restructure Accounting Education ...............                                              15

CONCLUSION              AND RE$COMMENDATlONS                                         . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

  1 Primary Functions, Activities and Tasks fix Major Categoriesof
       GS-510 Accountan& .. ..c ................................                                                   18
  2 SuggestedAreas of Education for GS-510 Accountants .............                                               31
  3 Major Federal Guidelines to be Applied by GS-510 Accountants ......                                            38
  4 StafEngLevelsofGS-51OAccountantsbyAgency..        ................                                             4-O
  5 Major Contributors to This Report ............................                                                 41

BIBLIOGRAPHY                . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
           A*         AsS~tion         of Goveqment Accountants
            Gird      ChiefFinancial~cer
            C.P.R     &de ofpederal
                                  .’ RegdatioIls
            cm        ci&in&~ProfiessionalEducatioll
           PASB. ” k.n&cial Accbuntiag StandardsBoard
           FMFIA’ ‘, F+&h.na@ers~ Financial Integrity Act
                     GineiaU~aicepted accwnting principles
           .GAO       Generali@o&ting OEce
           GASB . .   Goyernment Accounting StandardsBoard
           GSA,       G+xal ServicesAd&&ration,
           JFMIP      Joint Financial Management Improvement Program
           KSAS       Knowl~~sldlls,   &nd abilities
           OMB,       GfFice of Ma&em&t and Budget
           OPM.       OfEcqof PersonnelManagement
           PCIE       President’sCouncil on Integrity and Efficiency
           SGL:       U.S. Government Stwdm~ Gew&!h&r

    I..               .
                          ‘. ‘:
                      I           ‘8


              INTRODUCTION                                        .,

              C     ontinuing professional education (CPE) of federal accountantsis vitaI to
                    keep pacewith the constant changesin f&r-al Einancialoperations due to
              new or amended administrative or program IegisIation; regulatory, standard or
              technoIogicaLdevelopments;and anincreasing span of responsibilites evohing
              from automation,advances.‘Giivernment accountantsneed appropriate education
              to 1) conductand communicate the rest&x of their work proficiently, 2) maintain
              awarenessfbr internal or external fraud and abuse,and 3) better monitor the vast
              and numerous risks in the government’s programs and administrative operations
              involving large dolhr amounts and extensive,transaction volume.
                             ,i,,I,,;;     :
                 Federalgovernment accountantsand other sta@&ntain financiial data for a
                     “_ 1990_ budget_ - of 1 triGon doI!ars. In toda@ &mate of fiscal constraint
              continuing education~foraccountantsin government operations is important.
              Becausetrain&5.t1creasesproductivity, the providiug of continuing education
              wiUhelptoachieveeconomyandeE~ciency.                  ”
                 According.&qeN’ +pod  I’.     Commission on the Public Service’, statistics show
              that pain@g &$loy~ results in higher retention and morale and increased
              credibility. The,Commission stated that government trainhq shows a lack of
              cIa.t$y about the purposes,costs, and benzfits oftrainiq. The Commission
              suggestedthree training purposesto keep’iu mind proficiency on the job,
              tnii&ng for rene+, and tmining for growth and development.
                 The Glvvmmm ‘t E~loyees lhaki@Aei, Chapter 41 of Title 5, U.S. CI&,
              providesthe basic authori+ion Ex employee tr+ing throughout most of the
              government, Executive Order 11.343,April 29, ‘1967, directs agencyheadson
              using tbis general statutory authority. Both the law and the Executive Order
              authorize OPM to issue reguIations governing various aspectsof the law.
              In carrying out thesegovernmentwide duties, OPM provides training oversight
              along with advice and leadership~inpersonnel management and evaluation.
              Agency management is assignedby law (5 U.S.C; 4103) the responsibility for
              establishing and implementing an agency%program to ensureprofessional
              proficiency through continuing education and on-the-job train&
                 Basedon our observations,the government does not offer an e&ctive
              continuing education program to maintain the highest professional competency
              of its 12,000 accountants (seeappendix 4). The government’s most direct options
              are to pay more to compete for accounting entrants or provide continuing educa-
              tion for
                     I, those
                            ,,. on board The most feasible  choice is for the government to focus
                           -*:;                       ‘._-.-- _-- .-,*---..
         ‘.                                    I, ..,,,;     : : j ,I‘i, ‘I

              1    Paul A Vokker, LcaclarkipjGrAmt+tG: R&4&&            theP&i4 Sh,       1989,
                   pp. 140-155.
on continuing profwional ‘. ecluc&i& t&develop +n&maintain qualified account-
ants.                              .( ,       .‘.

    A                      ;   ‘A.             Y       -
                                        ,,.,       ;

   By defir&o~ +i&&&$ is @wsy$ee of’or&@ion               and controIs over an
entity5 ecotiom@eivt&ii3. Afzct+iting iii&i+it&+ art of analyzing the financial
position an+ :o~~~~~~~:ofthi,l;tity’?r,        a’&g&ent within it The
profession’sdisti@i+ e$l$% f+~‘;ic$ountingstan~ds,        policies, procedures,
and the deGgn, devklopnienc iiAaU+t$on, operation, and maintenance of
accoutlting irifbrmation sy$&&. .’ : 1            ,‘./
                                  ,‘,. ),
   In addiqon * this speci-       ~ourx&       ,$c@$ accountantscommunicate
to government dec&ionmak@ @&mesning, sign$icance, and status of fkderal
fimding, concepts,pr$po+, and a@nativ$ They also must be lcnowkdgeable
of @e development a$ useof automA& systemsto provide quick responsesto
the fl~@~cialinkrmation needsofthe organization, the Congress, and the central
management and review agenciesofthe Heral government. In the context of this
report, the central ggenaeS’inkkdUiie&nekl       Accounting Of&e (GAO), the
Oflice OfManagement and Budget (OMB), the Ok&e of PersonnelManagement
(OPM), and the Department ofthe Treasury.
   To efkctively communi+te $vith management, accountantsmust provide
acawte, cornpI* and Gwly akcwntin&&incia& budgetary, and program
inknation conce*         aJItrakactioti andthe statusof operations, inclkding

2       For purposes ofthis report, the terms in@xnal controls, internal accounting
        and admk&ratiye co+ols, and management controls are synonymous.
3       Donald E. Kieso and Jkrry J. Weygandt, I~~&wati~.                 6th ed.,
       obligation and cost data, in an efficient, economical manner. PederaI accountants
       can, and should more ofken, be called on to help determine the most cost-mve
       way @ achievea progra&s #nissioa This requires a,conscious efkrt on the part
       of inauy ,aqFtants:to i@xact &We with other professionalsin the financial
       ma@a&ti&t,comn@iity~ iQkrti&lar budget and program managersand
       ana&&.‘U~ing an&lytikal &l coiixnx&i~tion~skilis in the federal accountants’
       enviromat is vital to’& six&k of e&ijWgra&            mission.
           Many age& have acco&ti& respo&biiiti& fbr multibillion-dokr                     F.
        programs and administrative operatioti. Thek &~c&, accounting, reporting,
        a$ fipy$al qaqqmmt p?ctii s+* +kct a level of financial sophistica-
       Itron appropikt@x t.$$ @$@$ship re&otiibiIities. Thus, the accountant’s
        p$&iti*    is the$f+ndki&i for thq&@ntfs        fJnancialmanagement
        improvegent: eB&ts. @ki@ing .pr@$ss@x&ducation is essentialfor
        ‘@$$~QII& $xke+q pace throughou+kir careeti’tith rapid +nges in
        au@matgdtkch@~ogy,&d +ii~eMent 6fkkra.l a&&nting standardsand

           A, systimic problem in federaI accountants?,
                                                     proficiency is the absenceof
        kkctive trainiq. Continuing education has not been a requireinent of continued
        employm&+ and perform~ce &aIuatick. How&e;, for auditors (a related
     .’ piof@&), &de&I audit standard.4state that indkiduals should obtain 80 hours
        of c&NinGng edwation ‘everytwo yearq.

     PIkO~CT                         OBJECTIVi3S ,’ AND
                                                     ,, _. SCOPE

     T     ocarryoutits~~,~improvefiederal~management,thc~
     apts’ trainhg ne&. & tlw Commi@s direction, the major objective was to
     dewi+ a comprehewive list of subject v     .$x ,the,contiuujng education of
     federal accow@@s. (The GS-$10 aq.ountantqeri&,is a subsetof the GS-500

,,    .Tbisreport           ,“‘,       ‘.     ,.,   :    ‘,      ,,       ,,

            l       prw     a state+&t &fiederal +ccountaii~‘~fimctions and identifies
                    subject~areasf+ accoiiaritig and Akxi edu+ion;
                l   dism           accountanti’ con*+         professional education (CPE);
                l   ,providesa pc$i f&r i&pkm~nta~on of CI% by agency
                l   dkusses CP~ impkmenwion,            fundiagi andmonitoring; and
                l   describ on-going e&h to retmxtw                   accounting education.


JFMIP Development EfIbrts
   The prbject’s initial information baseincluded discussionswith federal hanciaI
managemand,a reviekof recent bPA&, US. Army Accounting and Finance
Centek, ~&sock&n            of Govqent    Aqogntants studies on accountant
educati& expgienie, and 6zlas@catioq,,*ds.          Referencesourcesalso
i.nchdd aca$emidan and praktit3one~+rature addressingthe future of
accounting e&&ion. The tiibJio@phy ht$ the project’s refkrencesources.
   The &ojci&s hff deklopd pr+&n&+ ~&&i&s on accountants’ fhnctions,
knotiledge,~sk$, ~bilitiek, and subj& ak+s f+‘&kihing        education from
coryiul~tio~ with ei& federal finan@ managersand from reviews of
commonly-usedf            referencesources.These individuah assistedthe project
stafFin identif)kg the @imary duties of the major categoriesoffederal GS-510
accountantsaspresent@ in the fhnctio~ statement. The knowkdge, skills, and
abilitks to --performthese
                   _-_      acchuuting fhuctio~ and the relevant education needs
were then identified.
   Seve@financiaI maixgers in 911federal dep;agtmentsand major independent
agenciesreceived dr@ copies of the fhnctioixs, knowledge, skills, abilities, and con-
tinuing’education statements.These draft copies were distributed &rough die
ChiefFinancial OfEcers Co-      the FederalF~cialManagers          coundl, the
ComptroIIers Roundtable, and other selectedorganizations and individuals in
management community and the other respondentscited the drafk statementsas
comprehensive and needed.
  The detailed results of this e&t are p;eSentedin the following appendixes:
  Appendix 1: Primary Functions, Activities, and Tasks f&r Major Categories of
  GS-510 Accountants
  Appendix 2: SuggestedAreas of Education fbr GS-510 Accountants

Functions statement
  Becauseno HeraI standard describesin suflicient depth the nature, range, and
complexity of GS-510 accouqants’ dictions and responsibilities, the project staff
&   fiinctions &krnmt     (ippetidix%ey$+nd-d~--
                                        1), T& &&$Td%   hmmt   duties
                                                                 i&n&aas p-din

major categoriesof GS-510 accountants:
     . StaffAccountant:Accounmts whose work is primarily devoted to
        aoxnmhg and hancial management p&y development aswell as
        generalmanagement accounting;
                                                 . ‘OpkratioiwAb.nt&:       Accountan@ whose work is primarily
                                                   devoted to,day-to-day operatipns, financial ,reporting, and cost
                                               ,’ yM-@;qd                ,,
./                        (,
                                                  l  Systems Accouutaut:    Accouutantswhose~work is primarily devoted
            .‘.                    ”              ” to fiuancial management systemsdesign, development,
            ..                    .I~                implementario~~maintenance,   anddo&nentition.
                                                       ,, 3 :,
                                               Many duties of,these,three accountant categoriesare consideredinterchange-
                                             able, except for technical com@ter matters.~Therefore,identification of the com-
          /)’                                mop jiimctibm. am&g f+&al accountantscan be &isiikd into five major areas:
                                                1. Tecbh%l Guidanti: The undersw,            interrelating, interpreting, explain-
                                             .’ ’ ing,‘and applying of accounting~d budget concepts,standards,principles,
                                                   policies, and procedures,especiallyfederaI appropriation law, fund control,
                                                 j ~accountingandreportingrequirements, and also computer skills.
                                               2. Tpterpa,Contr$:, The monitoring and managing of a specific entity,
                                                  program, or.appropriation’s accounting, administrative, or management
                                                  controls.        ,,l:.
                                               3. Finaai$al Aualysti ind Reporting: The monitoring, reviewing, or examin-
                                                  iug ofac.coun& spe@c appropriation, or entire entiqs financial records for
                                                  interim status reports; monthly; quarterly, or annual reporting requirements;
                                                  or other specialneeds.        :
                                               4. Systems Develcipment, Opera&n, andMaintenance: The coordinating,
                                                  designin& developing, operariug, maintajniug, reviewing, and modif$ug of
                                                ” all atzc~unting~financiat, and related systemsfor effect@ financial manage-
                                                  ment, inchding iuteractionwith budgetary and program functions, in
                                                  accordancev&h Meral requirements and guidance.
                                               5; Sup&h,         Leadersl&ip, ancj Comm&cation: The dealing successfuuy
                                                   through interpersonal skills with a variety of organizational and individual
                                                  ‘characteristics,loyalties, issues,and commitments; delegating and assigning
                                                   responsibihties~managing information flows; communicating efhxtively;
                                                ‘. and related behavioral matters. ”
           :.            ;.,
                               _\ ., .‘i : ‘~C$II@QQJ s~~m~~t,c-~m~.,duplication,                to better servethe needsof
                                         ‘a broadaudience with varied res$onSbilities in theirfinancial management en-
                                         vironmenti. To upgrade the functions and quality of work of federal accountants,
                                         we support agencyrecommendations to incorporate the functions statement
                    ‘,                    into agencyjob or position descriptions in whole or by specific referenceto
     I,                          ‘,       appendix 1;to cJarXyfederal accountants~duties.
    Education Areas fior P*&          +untants
      The entry requirement fh GS-510 accountantsis education and/or experience
    tbat meets the OPM qualifhioti standard (seepage 9).
      ., J+s~o$.idundons.      sta+mait qi +gpUamwledge, skiIs, and abilities,
    the susgestedsubject aieagkr,feder+.l accagam’ continuing prohsionai educa-
    tion we* deve+xL These &e &sented in appendix 2 and are summarized
    b&w:                 ,f .’
      Con+&ngp+.@&leduc&& ’        ‘: ‘,’
      1. Updam, on generally accept&daccount& principks, concepts, and
         application, /’       :.             ;
      2. &zderakacwunw; bud@ing; and reporting references:

                 l          Sxfederal government and Comptrollek General

         . U.S. Governm~S~d            Gmoidw~
         i )lM.lP PM~Pinrutcial,~W#               System requirements
         . ~g#.##&$jJ&$##J                     :’
.          Federal budget formulation (OMB C&z&r A-11)

           Federal budget execution (OMB Circular A-34)

         9 Appropriation (fhd wntrol) accountiug
           Other legal or rkgulatory requiremhts

      3. Other appropriate edvation:,
           Interd agencypolici~ andproceduk

         * Agencyacco~tingmanu$sandhandbooks
           Organiz&~ri$ a$ program orientation

             l       O~-~-j&&&&&g

             l Maintaining adequakautomated or manual documentation
         l     Statistical sari~ph$ ti Bpprdpri&te    ’
             . preventitmg,dq,         ‘@ .&cOrting &&j
         l     Evalua~ accountiug q%te~&~‘~,
             l Understanding compute* e@iptient, computer system desigu,
               development, controls, sofhvare, m&intenauce,and security
             l Databaseconcepts, ~pphtious, proceying, maintenance, aud
               analpis          :                  :
             l Management of projects and resourcxk ‘_
             . Communicationand~behavi~ral sldlIs

       The list includes appropriate subject areasto provi+ flexibility fbr specialha-
    tion of duties amoug the major categoriesof the GS-510 accountant series.The
    implementation of this list as a continuing professional education plan requires a
    strong orgauizational commitment to educateaud train stafF,
          Project Aceomplisiuuents and&stale

          Federal Guidance to be Applied by Accountants
            A separatelist of major federal guidelines to be applied by accountantswas
          developed.This list, presentedin more.detail in appendix 3, covers
               9 ~P&zc@&x0$7e.&&~*                                  pltls numerous ComptroJler
      .           Generalandagkncydecisions
               l         program and agencyadministrative IegisIation
               . genetiy acceptedaccounting principles ’
                   8 federal accounting standa& (GAG Poby asd Pmcedwes&n&J
                     Gtliclctnu ofF&d&mk,           patti&Iy titik 2 and related payroIl
                     aud fiscal requirements in titi 6 and7)
                   l     OMB budgetary reporting requirements and guidance
                   9 U.S. Government Standwd Gt?wraZb&er
                   T PI&        Federial.&ngmialM$qpuwt             Systems:Cure Fhmcti   System
                         Reqnii~ti,   which are ipmpo~ted in GAO, OMB, and Treasury
                         requirements                  _’
                   . Treasury financial reporting requirements
                   . .other requirements, suchas federal acquisition, personnel,travel, and
                     records regulations       :     ,:
            Becausethesefederal accounting requirements are extensive,it may take 5 to
          10 yearsto cover them in courses,seminars,~andon-the-job training.
          Federal Atiuntant             Qylifi~~oai        St&lard
             The continuing professional education neededby a GS-510 accountant is deter-
          mined in part by the extent of the indkiduall’s education on entering employment.
          The qualifkation standard estabhshedby OPM for a GS-510 accountant is asfol-
          lows (the qualification standardis combined for the GS-510 accountant and
          GS-511 auditor series):4

                                                       ,     (...

          4            The statement is quoted from page 51 of theQ&z@ti    Standmdfw
                       Zb&radc Inter& P?vjhi&       Positkms,Of&e of PersonnelManagement,
                       June 1990.

Project Accomplishments andResub

 Basic     Requirements:

 A Degree: accounting; or a degree in a~relatedfield such as business
   admir?isbration, finance, or public admGtration that inckkles or was
   supplemented by 24 semester hours in accounting. The 24 hours may
   incl@e up to 6 hours ofcredit in business law. (The term caccounting’
   mea.tx$‘accounthig and/or audit&$ in this standard. Similarly ‘accouut-
   an! should be interpreted, generally, as ‘accountam and/or auditor.‘)


 B. Combination of education and experience -at least 4 years of
    expexieuce in accounting, or an equivalent combination of accounting
    experience, colkge-level education, and tmining that provided profes-
    sional accounting knowledge. Applicant’s background must also
    iuclude at least one of the following:

      l.‘Twenty-f-bur semester hours in accounting or auditing courses of
          appropriate type and quality. ‘Ibis can in&de up to 6 hours of
          business law.
      2. Aceticate as CertifiedPublic Accountant or a Certified
         lieemal Auditor, obtained through written examination.


         3. Completion of the requirements for a degree with major study
           in accounting, auditing or a related field which includes substan-
           tiaI course work in accounting or auditing, e.g., 15 semester
           hours, but which does not fully sati@ the 24 semester hour
           requirement of paragraph A, provided that (a) the applicant has
           succeddy demonstratd         the ability to perform work of the
           GS-11 or higher grade level in accounting, aud$ing or a related
           field, e.g., valuation engineering or financial institution examin-
           ing; (b) a panel of at least two higher level professional account-
           ants or auditors have determined that the applicant has
           and underlying fields that equals in breadth, c&p& currency,
           aud level of advancementwhichisnormaUyassociatedwithsuc-
           cessful completion of the 4-year course of study in paragraph A;
           and (c) except f?x literal nonconformance to the requirement of
           24 semester hours in accounting, the applicants education, train-
           ing, and experience fidly meet the specified requirements.
Project+izcomplishments andResults

Continuing     Profbsional   Educatim
    The need to maintain proficiency throughcontinuing professional education
is co&on to ali professions.The federai audit community recognized the need
for cx&inuiug professional education and incorporated a recommendation in
the 1988 revision of the Gov~mt+Azu#ti~       Snwdwd?. These standardsstate
that auditors should obtah at least 80 hours of continuing professional education
every 2 years.Two reports issued by the President’s Council on Integrity and
I3fEciency (PCIE) also addressedauditors’ training: the St&y @X.&W Z?aK~,
November 1987, and the 1988 @n@yad@naof Trahzhg ComesAvadubh in the
FdmdAdit      Gwtmmnity.
  Ideally, a continuing professional education program fix federal accountants
     9 complement an undergraduateor equivalent qtiahiication in
       accounting, businessadministration, or finance;.
     . include the unique accounting, lega& regulatory, and reporting
       requirements of the federai sector;
     l   keep federal accountantsup-to-date u&h current eventswithin the
         accounting profession; and
     . provide the skiiis necessaryto apply new technoIogies in automation,
       infbrmation management, and accounting.
   It is recommended that agencymanagemeut require fhderai accountantsto
obtain 80 hours of continuing professional education every 2 years,simiiar to
auditor requirements. Accountants’ contifltljng education should inciude
accounting concepts, assessmentof internal and management controis, sampling
design, data anaiysis,and supervision. Training may cover subjectsrelated to
public administration, public policy, economics, social sciences,and computer

5    U.S. General Accounting Of&e, GOP
                                     enavnestAuditiqg S&&r&,            1988
     revision, pp. l-l and 1-2.
                                       CPE Model and Agency Implementation
                                       In deveIoping this report, the projqzt objectives were to (1) iden* the
                                    fbtions, knowkdge, skiUs,ad abilities of @haI accountants; (2) develop the
                                    subject areaslist for their continuing professional education (expectedpear-
                                   mance); and (3) reqmmend actions to.&efW              fiaanc;al management
                                   communiity. The project team preparqhhe fc$Iowing continuing prokssional
                                   educatJoqm$eI to iI.l+r+lz the ,q+$, $cpE dqelopment, implementation,
                                   ‘xhd &aluatioti.
                                             ,P      The CPE ~$ie~~~6ws , ,” I.;’ ”
                                                      ‘I’. ‘. ,,             .,
                                          . ,what theJ&Il? proj&tkcompJiskl         and
                                              9 what agency~t$       &anagement and ed&ation specialistsneed to
                                                do to complete the continuing education cycle.

                                                                            Continuing       Professlonal      Education        Cycle

                                               Contribute positive
                                              experiences to CPE                                                                           Compare actual to
                                                                                                                                         expected performance

                                               Provide CPE and                                                                          Identify CPE differences,
                                               evaluate learning                                                                         cite strategy, objectives

                                                                                          Identify suitable CPE

. .   .-’   : ,._._.. _..   .,.   . :._. ‘.      _;...\.:v..   - ‘;,‘-i< ,.,.-“‘.-‘,.K   j ; ,,,I ) ,;,‘a ;’ :: p.Fi..‘,;;i:r
                                     Upon receiving.this repo&, agencies%reenccGi3ge.dtd complete tht! loop in
                                  the continuing education model over a period of time. First, agenciesmay assess
                                  their accountants’performance with the JFMD? &xtions statement and continu-
                                  ing education list. This will help agenciesto idenb’fl educational needs,that is, the
                                  difEerenc6between expected (appendix 1) and actual perfonmanceby the agency’s
                                  accountants. It is a good idea to work with education specialiststhroughout the
                                  various stepsin the model.
 Project Accomplishments and&sults

     Next, agencymanagement can plan an education strategyto meet continuing
  education needs.After deciding agencywide education objectives for its
  accountants,the agencymay iden* suitable continuing education or train@,
  and arrange,conduct, or develop appropriate continuing education. Education
  specialistscan assistgreatly in focusing the delivery of the education message-a
‘-good combination for coursedevelopment is to team subject-matter expertswith
  instnictional design specialists. ..
    A&$ evaluating &rticipant leaming, agenciesshot@ contribute to a
 governmentwide continuing education databasethose (classroom or self-study)
 cqursesor seminarswhich resultedin positive learning experiences.In somein-
 stances,ifcoursiz materials were made available to other federal agencies,educa-
 tional opportunities could,~beincreasedat nominal cost. Depending on the status
 of department and,agencyconunuingeducation programs for accountants,it is ex-
 pected that some may need to do more work than others to upgrade their continu-
 ing education program for accountants.
    To develop good staff, federal managersstatedthat the best on-the-job-training
 for accountantswas extended cross-training of 1 or’2 yearsin eachof the major
 financial management areas:budgeting, accounting, financial and program
 analysis,and reporting; Such cross-training should also include headquartersand
 regional assignments.Combination of formal training with on-the-job experience,
 gained through extensive rotational programs and successivelymore responsible
 assignments,also develops candidatesfor top management and leadershipposi-

     Representativesfrom the Departments of the Air Force and the Army stated
 that their departments send selectedmid-level stafferswith severalyearsex-
 perience to their integrated financial management programs. Coursesaretaught
 fdl-time for a 5- or 6-month period. The curriculums include (1) accounting
 standards,(2) appropriation law and IegaI decisions, (3) budget formulation and
 execution, (4) Treasury financial reporting requirements, (5) internal manage-
 ment information needs, (6) internal control reporting, (7) aquisition and travel
 regulations, and (8) agencypolicies and procedures.
    Accountant tmining in the civilian agenciesdoesnot adequatelyfocus on teach-
 ing federal accounting concepts and integrating the various reporting require-
 ments. Such tmining heavily f&uses on proceduresor reiteration of reporting
 requirements. Federal financial managers’comments pointed out that the ability
 to apply conceptsand analytical @Is is,important for all accountantsbecause
 their dark s~~pd~ ~~~~~n~          daisy.   ~~ beers       observedthat
 acquiring such abilities is particularly important for accounting technicians or
 paraprofessionalswho have enteredaccountant positions.

 .l2                                       JZ!!   CPB: PcdGlyt GS-S~O&ounwnt8R@ort
           ProjefztAccomplishment8 d,Rfzsuh


                            ,.       :
               Relevant (hme~.,Ar&                     To Bind
                                         often Difiicuit
             The project staff searchedfor ‘an appropriate course databasefor federal
           accountantsto supportthe Cl?E subject areaslist. The available databasescovered
           coursesin flriance and supervision. They included coursedata provided by OPM,
           the Departments of EnergyandTransportation, theDepartment of the Army, the
           USDA Graduate School, and other agencies.
              Au available databasefully covering the subject areasfor accountants’ Cl%,
           however, did not exist. To Gil this void,the JFMII? Steering Committee directed
           that a compendium of appropriate coursesbe deveIopedand updated periodically.
           This supporting compendiuui of courseswill be available as a separatedocument
           to accompany this continuing education report. It will be updated periodically
           through agencysubmission’of courseadditions and feedback on course participa-
           tiommd evaluation of the learning experience;         :I:

              Iu the current federai deficit situation, funds for traking are Jitnited GAO
,’         reported to the Congress6that 30 of66 responding agencieshad reduced training
           ibds by-10 percent or more,due to overall budget cuts required by the balanced
           budget act (Gratnm-Rudman-IIoihngs). Twelve agenciesreported cuts of 50 per-
           cent or greater. While train@g funds may be early candidatesfor budget-cutting,
           agency management should carefully consider such actions.
              The Vokker Commission pointed out that iftrah&g is understood to be an
           element of investment forgrowth and productivity, feaeral expenditures on train-
           ing are low. YIhe federal government spendsabout three-quartersof 1 percent of
           its payroll dollars on traiuiug. In contrast, many of the top-rated companies spend
           as much as 10 percent of payroll for this purpose, while the miiitary devotes as
           much as 15 to.20 percent of its payroll doiiars to this goaL”’

               Monitoring   CPE
               Management is responsiblefor overseeingthe agency’scontinuing education
            program aswell as monitoring and documenting individuai employee’s com-
            piiauce with CPE requirements. Agencies shouid document completed education
     _,   I or trai@g~&nual..perfonnance,app&sai of:b&h employees and supervisors
            should~refkct compliance withagency Cl?E expectations.

           6     Trhqg Bui&ctx A~enoy Bw@tMW          itc RRspotwGto the Balmaced
                 Bu&etAct (GAO/GGD-86-98BR July 16,1986).
           7     LeadmapjhP2h&x    Rdv&d&J the Public se&e, Vol. 2, p. 143.

      Project Accomplishments andResults

         To monitor CPE, some agencymanagersare developing continuing education
      pIans and tracking systemswith assignedcredit for classroom, seminar, workshop,
      or self-study train& Teaching accounting in collegesand universities should also
      couut fix credit. Managers of existing CpEprognims may be contactedfor infor-
      mation. Some~referencesare the GAO Training Institute, inspectors generaistaff,
      and the U.S. Army Accounting and Finance Centen

          Recent studies point out that continuing professional education of federal
       government personnel should.&rease.‘The CE! SHY& 2000 report, issued by
       OPM,in June 1988, stated that federal train&needs should concentrateon high-
       ly ski&xl prof5ssionaiswith transferableskiils and in rapidly evolving fields. The
       report inch&d accountantsinthis group and further noted that the government
      will hire fkw from the private sector above the entry levei. Thus, the government
      must invest heaviiy in continuing development of skiiis. To maintain an up-to-
      ‘date skill base,agenciesmust reinvest in ,their technical work force at aii leveis.
         The report aiso~stressededu&tingfor the fhture.It stated that the obvious solu-
      tion to the difEculties in hiring the mosbeducatedworkers is to educateand train
      those already on board. Where skiiis are now or wiii be in short supply, agencies
      should invest in new schooling for current employees.Tuition aid, educationai
      sabbaticals,and even muhiyear advancedtmining programs should be the norm
      in agencieshaving &iii shortages.Where appropriate,.programs may require
      some cost sharing and ,theparticipant’s commitment to continued federal employ-
      ment.           4
         In auother report, issued in April 1989, the Vokker Commission recom-
      mended that OPM’encourage agenciesto develop their own CPE programs, to
      arrange for comparable training with other government agencies,or to look out-
      side government for the neededtraining. while the commission statedthat OPM
      shotsld get out of the speciaiized train& businessand aiiow the agenciesto take
      more responsibility for their own training*, the JFMIJ? conch&s that OPM or
      other organizations must continue to conduct basic training for employees,
      particuiarly for those fkom the numerous small agencies.
         In addrasiug mid-career education, the Volcker report noted that government
      train& policies emphasizebrief, job-focused training. programs to achievenear-
,._   pxm rest&s. Long~termtmining~whichbasthechamcter ofinvestment in human
      capitai, was ,cbt froa most agencies’budgets: me recommending that agencies
      modify their policies to use the potential of the educational community, the com-
      mission also stated that academiamust respond witi vigorous efforts to build

      8    Leauim~~Arntha:         Rebddiqg the Publlic Service, Summary Vol., p. 44.
l?rojectAccompli&ments andResults

effective mid-career programs. Management shouldaiso have a basic under-
standing that payoffs in tmining arelong-term, not, short-term.
   Agency management, under OMB’s budgetary oversight role, must actively
and openly commit both policy and monetary support to CPE for accouutants.
Without continuing education to focus the accounting and fkanciai management
sta8%.onimplementation ofthe most effective ana@icaImethods and data for
deaslonmaking, the chancesofinadequate or inappropriate decisionsbasedon
incomplete data and information increasek-
   Sue;gestida ,~oti~fed&aI managersfoi &ainiiq that would cost lessthan on-
campus,tmining include providing for self-study andexpanding university instruc-
tion at worksites. By cross-servicingor speci&ing in se&ted course develop-
ment .andprtxentatio~‘agencies co&i sharesome costs of developing Cl?E
coursesfor accountants. ‘,
   In geographic areaswith large concentrations.of federal accountants,colleges
may be,encouragedto inc&de in their accounting and public administration cur-
ricdums elective doutseson federd sector accountingand budgeting. Arrange?
ments between agenciesand the’academic community couid include certificate
programs of s& to eight course3in reiated study areas,such as controliership or in-
formation management. Ideally, credit for thesecoursescould be applied to an ad-
vanced degree.As noted in recent prbfessiod reports and literature, trait&g of
entry and careerprofessionalsshould be a partnership between academicinstitu-
tions, the practicing profession in the federal government, and the private sector.

Ongoing 33fforts to Restructure Accounti~@ Education
   Academicians and practitioners are addressingthe future of accounting educa-
tion. Large accounting firms cite the Bedford &kmhtee’s repor? for its analyses
and recommendations on curricuium content and teaching methods. They con-
sider the report an excellent foundation for the restructuring of accounting
edycation. Ten of the committee’s 28 recommendations addressthe future scope,
content, and structure of accounting education, caliing for a broad undergraduate
curricuium. The committee recommended that collegesand universities approach
accounting education as an information development and distribution function.
for economic decisionmaking. The report also points out that, in addition to the
            .             ..,   ...A       i’ ,.
                ,                                    ”

9    Norton Bedford et al, “Future Accounting Education: Preparing for the
     Expanding Profession, the American Accounting Association Committee on
     the Future Structure, Content, and Scope of Accounting Education,“lj;rlrceJ
     hAcwunti~Educati        (Spring 1986), pp. 168-195.
Project AccomplishmentsandResults

traditional analysisof transactionsinto financial statements,the restructuring
needsto expand instruction into such areasas disclosure.1o
   The Bedford Committee’s report addressesthe future curriculum as spanning
five major educational components: generaleducation, generalprofessional educa-
tion, specializedprofessional accounting education (at the graduate Ievel only),
d-ml     programsi and continuing education programs. The committee pointed
out that close cooperation between universities,.accounting Grms, government
organizations, industry, and profession&societies is necessaryto restructure the
accounting.+@zulum, The Bedford Committee further stated that an early topic
of study$ouUbe the nature, the design, and the implementation of information
   The committee’s pIan12 for implementation by-the year 2000 suggestedthree
phasesto the academic and practitioner communities: (1) gathering support-
which is describedin a deta+d treatise;‘~~(2j putting it to work-target comple-
tion date 1990, and (3) midcourse review-target date 1995. The Iargest
accounting firms’! have,offered $4 million~in grants to support development of
curriculums that are respo&ve to the needsof the profession; further, a coor-
dinating &nmittee has been e+ablished.‘Iii support of the Bedford Committee
and accounting firm initiatives, re#sentatives of the federal financial community
should monitor the-progressof accountants’curriculum restructun?ngand meet
and participate with the &mmittee to voice federal concernsand needs.
  Accountants in both the public and private sectorshave recognized the need to
develop the entry and careeraccountant%ability to think, communicate, under-
stand the nature and role of ethics, and use judgment to support decisionmaking.
Federalfinancial managers,academicians,and the professionsl organizations are
calling for more emphasison communicatioq behavioral sciences;andunder-
standiug the entity% administrative processes,it&ding strategic decisionmaking
and phuuiing, economics, managerial accounting, and use of computers and infor-
mation systems.

10   “puture Accounting Education* p. 191.
11   *Puture Accounting Education,” p. 179.
12   “Puture Accounting Education,” pp. 194195.
13   JosephJSchultz, Jr., et al, eds.Rmhtin~AccoamtiqgEdau&im              Reports ON
     the Enti?vrtmenG   P?i@&ate,   and Ctcrrictclzlm   ofAcomtiqg,   American
   Accounting Association A&ounting Education Series,vol. no. 10,1989.
14 Arthur Anderson & Co., et al. Penpectiv~ m Edwatim: Capabilitifi
   SWHS irethe Accounting profkrsionApr. 1989, p. 3.
coNcnJsIoN                   Am

   Oven& the,task of estabhshingcontinuing $rofessionaI education for entry
and careerfederal accountantsto maintain them at effective and productive IeveIs
involves the commitment of top~leveI management in GAO, OMB, OPM, the
Department of the Treasury; and aII the other departmen& and agencies.In view
of the de+pments in accounting education, ,changesin the accounting
profession, and the continuing criticaI need to improve federal financial manage-
ment, we recommend that                                        6

  1. Support a continuing education poIicy for federaI accountantsand provide
     monetary commitment fbr it.      ‘0 ’
  2. Include iu GS-51O~positiondescriptions a requirement that accountants
     should obtain at leastSOhours of relevant continuing education every 2
     years; and also incorporate this requirement in the agency’scareerdevelop-
     ment program.
  3. incorporate the functions statement for federaI accountants (appendix 1)
     into agencyjob or position descriptions in whole or by reference.
  4. Develop or update continuiug education pIans for accountants,using this
     report aSa guide, and aIso
     a. Monitor the completion of CPE and
     b. Assess,in annual.performance appraisals,supervisor and
        employee compliance with the agency’scormnuing education re-

  Support a continuing education pohcy for federal accountantsand provide
  monetary commitment for it.

  Incorporate by referencethe functions statement for federaI accountantsinto
  the governmentwide GS-510 accountant classification standard.

Appendix 1

This appendix lists the functions, activities, and tasksof federal accountants.Three major
accouu~ cate@ries in the federal government aredifFerentid Thqe categoriescover staE
accountants (which iuchdes poli~,tid generalmanagement account+@, operations accountants
(which i&u@ cost accou+nts),~~d syste&‘acc&ntatits. Except for Fcal                     computer matters,
most of the duties of thesethree &omtant categories‘he consideredinter&angeabIe, providing
@ Uividhals m                the reqtiitp k+owIedge, ~&ills, a&l abilities (KSAs) to carry out assigned
filnitiolls. ‘rlll.6 KSAS f or“’ a&otik&s tik presekd in apppdix 2 along with a list of suggested
areasof continuing education foi federal accounthts.~               ”

St&,      ‘0ptxatins systems
Acemutant Accountant Accountant Primary Functions, Activitks, andTasks

Interprets, Impkments May assist            A. Major accounting policy guidelines and directives
provkks, or or herprets with

                                                        l   to monitor and improve internal controis
                                                            and corn iiance with the FederalManagers’
                                                            FinanciaFIntegrity Act (FMFIA); and
                                                        l   to improve financiai management analysis,
                                                            accounting, financial reporting and dis-
                                                            closure, and efkctiveness and efficiency of
                                                            operations (coordinates with LB.)
                                                  1. Guidance, direction, and expert advice
Provides      Implements Ma assist                   a. Authoritative determinations applyin account-
                         wi tl                           ing concepts, principles, and standar%sto
                                                         accounting and financial activities and opera-

Provides      Piovid& or May provide                 b. T&3$moky,         procedural guidance and
              implements                                                  merit leadership on &e over-
                                                        all oFrationT o fiscal matter!, accoun$.ugand
                                                        flnarpal systems,and Cnvc+ reportmg
                                                        reqmrements fbr w 0rgamzaQons ap-
                                                        propriated and nonappropriated funds

                                                                                                          Appadx        1
 Staff               operations     systems                                 I.
                                                                            2.            .,’
 Accountant          Aeeoulltant    ileemlltant      l?rimaryFunetions,‘Actmitiee,        and’&&

Develops or Implements Uses,or                                 c. De lrtment or agency.accountingmanual,
updates     oruses     prescribes                                 w lt & prescribesaccounts and recording of
                                                                  transactionsaccording to the U.S. Govern-
                                                                  ment Stw&& GeneraJI&qt~ (SGL), o erat-
                                                                  mg procedures?and inter.& and externi!i
                                                                  reportrq requuemen~ to provide for proper
                                                                  accountmg and reportmg of the orgaxuzauon’s
Establishes,          May estab- Ma assist
i%zilitaW, or         li&uses,      wi x
maymain-             .lllaixltains,
tain                  or updates

Directs, or          Drects,.       ,&Sip@,   With            e. Use of .consistentlycompiled programming
monitors             monitors,                                   accountmg, budgeung, and reportir& data’and
                     implements,                                 disclosuresto promote better-informed
                     or provides                                 decisionmaking
Provides             Implements Ma assist                      f. Policy guidance and direction for compre-
                                ivi tzI                           hensrvefinancial management functions and
                                                                  appropriate interreIadonships and assistance
                                                                  ~0 program functions to ensureagencywide
                                                                  implementation of financial management
                                                                  initiatives such as
                                                                      l   cashmanagement improvements;
                                                                      l   reporting on internal controls according to
                                                                          FMFIA requirements (seealso IIJ?.);
                                                                      l   full im lementation of credit management
                                                                          and de%t collection according to standards
                                                                          in 4 C.P.R.100, OMB Circular A-129, and
                                                                          the Tremty FinamiuMiwzd;
                                                                  l       prompt payment;
                                                                  l       electronic fimds transfer;
                                                                  l       travel management; and
                                                                  l       use of credit cards
Provides,    Provides,    Provides,                           g. Administration and program officials with
coordinates, coordinates, coordinates,                           ap ropnate accounung policies, procedures,
or advises or advises or advises                                 anii Ttems for agencyaccounting relating to
                                                                 financral management and operaung programs
                                                                 to propose changesin internal policy direc-
                                                                 tives and recommend actions or alternatives to
                                                                 resolveunfavorable situations or problems
                                                                 (coordinates with LB.)
                .,     .,    ..,,    ..c,,

Participates’ Participates Participates                       h. Decision-making sessionswith management to
in or assists in or assists in or assists                        determine and implement resolution of
with          with          with                                 problems
                                                                                      Appendix 1
St&          OptdOllS       systems
Acsounmt     Aeeountant     Aceoutltant
                                     l?rimaryFun&ns,        A&i&,      andTasks
Develops or Recom-          May recom-          i. Briefing papers and decision memoranda to
preSents    mends           mend                   dexxIxIv;terpret     estabhshedpohcy gtudes

Has          May have       May have            j. Responsibility for drafting proposed changes
                                                   to organization policy statement+ regulations,
                                                   or proceduresto improve operatronsor to
Participates Participates Participates         k. conferences, briefings, or presentitions
in           in           in                      regarding effect.of proposed changesto
                                                  methods and roceduresin the treatment of
                                                  accounting lJ
                                                              ’ ormation (e.g., concepts,
                                                  theory, position, and other papers)
Provides     Provides       Provides           1.Accounting and financial expert advice to
                                                  l    program operating officials on fund
                                                       availability, operatiug procedures,financial
                                                       management nnprovements, and other
                                                  l    budget and administrative officials on using
                                                       accounting and financial recordsto make
                                                       budget projections and formulate future
                                                       budget and appropriation requests
                                                  l    management and chieffinancial officer
                                                       (CFO) on use and expenditure of fund
                                                       allocations for ongoin programs and plan-
                                                       ning of new or reviseB ones
Provides     Provides       May provide        m. Advice and assistance.to to and supervisory
                                                  management conce          rePationshr s
                                                  between accounung7 an finance anB its
                                                  importance m
                                                      1) Achieving management%objectives,
                                                      2) Strengtheniug finand controls, and
                                                      3) Complying with fiuancial management
                                                         improvement plans
Maintains   Maintains   Maintains              n. Liaison externally with GAO, GSA, OMB,
or promotes or promotes or promotes               OPM, Treasury, and ins ectors generalto
                                                  coordinate department f!Ln cial management
                                                  poIicies with governmentwide policies aswell
                                                  asi.nternaIIy amo* offices responsiblefor ac-
                                                  counting policy, i!i ormation resources,finan-
                                                  cial operations, and legal interpretations
Actsas       Actsas         ActsaS             0. Representativefbr the chief financial officer at
                                                  meetin and conferenceswith management,
                                                  GSA, J!%ice, and the central agencies(GAO,
                                                  OMB, OPM, andTreasury)

                                     -----.-                  -
                                                                                                Appendix 1
 St4lfE        operatiolls   systems
 Accountant    Accountant    Accountant      Primary Functions, Activities, and Tasks
                                                 2. Laws, standards,regulations, and requirements
Drafts or  Drafts or  MaYdraft                       a Legislative proposals
recommends recommends or may

Ana+esor       Analyzes,     Analyzes,               b. Theefkctof            s in legiskion; GAO
interprets     communi-      interprets,                standards;or5% 0     , Treasury, or organization-
               cates,or      or com-                    al requirements on agencyaccounting and
               monitors      municates                  financial poIicies, operations, or systems
Converts or ,+npIements May prepare                  c. +egislation *andcentral agency@dance into
tiommuni- ‘or recom-                                     nn@xrientmg policy that consrdersthe unique
cates      ‘.: pleg.ldf                                  ernuronment, systems,and operations of the
Promotes, promotes,, Assists with                    d. Coordination of legislation with accounting
converts, or implements, or may                         suuxiards and reporting requirements
COlIlXlld-   or recomb prepare
cat-es       mends
                                                                      accountkt~ policies, operations,
                                                                          , actwrties, and tasks

Conducts or Conductsor Ma assist                    a. PI*        orga.nization’sfinancial management
participates participates wi x                          prrorittes and monitoring their accomplish-

Develops       Develops      May par-               b. Justification fbr required budget resourcesfor
or revievk     or reviews    ticipate with             financial management operauons, priorities,
                                                       and initiatives
IInterprets,   Interprets, Interprets,       B. Major financial management systemspolicy,
provides,      provrdes,   provxks, or          guidelines, and directives
monitors, or   implements, implements
may assist     or may                                          9 to comply witb
with           assistwi&

                                                                   - JFMlP FderdFinu~cial2Man~~t
                                                               l    to monitor and improve internal
                                                                    controls and compliance with the
                                                                   .Fwand.         _ _.. . : .” :.
                                                           l        td hnprove’accounting and financial
                                                                    reporting and effectivenessand
                                                                    efliciency of operations

                                                                                                        Appendix 1

             II. INT#lRNAJXONTROL                         RE,SPONSlBILITIES

              St&           opeEation8     sy5tems
              Aewuntaut     Aceountant Accountant Primary Functions, Activities, andTasks

             communi-       cQmmuni-       Assists           k Poliq, pperations, or systemsoperational standards
             cat-es,        cates,         with,               pertammg p iut&ua.l control design, analysis,
             Prep?-         implements,    prepares,           programmmg, and documentation
             momtors, or    prepares,      monito&,
             reviews        monitors, or   or revi~
             Monitors       Directs,     Directs,            B. Revi& of organkatiidn’s &&grated accosting and
                            monitors, or desig& or              financial management reporting systemsor se ents
                            Pr=-         presents
                                               ,,               to iden* source docuknts and worlcflok; Jr artand
                                                                track.dFent       contro1, systemsinterfaces,and
                                                                defiuenues; and to recommend improvem+s in
                                                                methods and controls to com@ly.w@ GAO spd-
                                                                ads, 0MB;Trvy           and ortip+         reqve
                                                                merits, and Sectron , FM@ reportmg reqmrements
                                                                on 5nanual s tems assuring appropriate drsclosureof
                                                                iinancialcon ccltion
             Reviews,  Reviews,   Reviews,    C. Broad studies and reports of controls to determine
             anal 3or analyzes,or analyzes,or    ~c$eness, efficiency econom , and security of
             conr ucts conducts   conducts                accounlitl~.d financi J systems,pohcies,
                                                 ; 3 ures, opera- practi~s, staFmen@,and
                                                 r?ports of goveFentaI and nongovernmental opera-
                                                 tions (e.g., service,suppo& or supply contractors)

             Analyzes or Analyzes,         As&stswith D. Modification of existing control procedties to meet
             communi-    commuxli-                              changing requirements or to comply with new legisla-
             cates       cates,or                               tion
             Identities,    IdeiUifies,    Identifies,       E. Common accounting and financiaI management
             analyzes,      analyzes, analyzes,                 control problems (e. ., asinadequate fund control,
             &ZiV&MES,      evaluates,     evahlates,           inaccurate da?, and fack of roper documentation at
             trouble-    trouble-          trouble-             selectedor        ational he P) and recommendations
             shoots,     shoolx3,or        shoots, or           to correct r ficiencies
             resolves,or resolve23         resolves
             reviews and

             overS=,        Designs,       ASSiStS,          I?.Adeq~ of organization’s internal controls in
             coordinates,   maintains,,    designs,              Ongo , new, or enhancedsystemsto account for all
             analyzes,      monitor&,      coordinates,          assets,
                                                                      “E; abilities, uity, revenue, and ensein com-
             reviews, or    analyzes,or    analyzes,or            liauce with GAO“B ohcy and PnwdzmsT&-a n+k
             approves       reviews        reviews              !Gtdunce ofFedqaL$yenc~,    Titkk2, GAAP, the
                                                                FM.Fl& laws govermug administrative control of
                                                                fbnds, other applicable program or a n Ie * la-
                                                                tion, and other requirements sg e&i &y&f!
                                                                JFMII?, OMB, Treasury, and e organization

_.-..-_-_-                                            -
                                                                                                                      Appedx   1
 StdF               operations            systems
 Aeeountallt        Aeeoulltallt          A.eeountant~      Primary    Functions,     Aetiviti,    and Tasks,

Promotes            Promotes              PrOmotes          G. Coordination of or        tion’s internal control respon-
                                                               sibilities as team ed@=
                                                                                    ort among administrative, Gxxuxial
                                                               management, and programmatic personnel

conducts,     Conducts or conducts,                         H. Qua&y assurancereviews, vulnerability assessments,
gui$es, over- ass+3 in    guides, or                           m+nal contro1an+ accounting or financial systems
sees, or ap-                              assistsin            revxws, as appropmkte
Es~!ish&es, IWpWies,                      Dt+gns,            I. $ablishment and updating of edit tablesfor account-
                      3                                         mg, financiaz trave2.eqt, and program automated
+&&&        ,w,                           27        or          systep data to.ensye compliance with recording and
ay=b=-       reviews, 0;                  .asiisB’dth           repoarngpr;lctlces

&views or       &vjew~,or                 Pr     q or       J. Spe$?catjons of new or enhancedautowted account-
a.nalyze~~      analyzes                  alligs               +g and financial reporting systemsfor appropriate
                           ‘,                                  mternal controls (coordinates with IV.B.)
Cond&,          Res ndsto Assists~                          K. Reviews of accoun ’      olicy, operations, or systems
s-q,            or $esigns or designs                          to veriQ such contra
                                                                                 ?!ii!L ctions as certification and
iq?ects, or                                                    d.isbEement, quality assurance,commerciaI
monitors                                                       accovts, efliciency, efkctiyeness, economy, and
Monitors        Implements                Assists in        L. Follow-up action in responseto central audit, opera-
                                                               tional, or administrative recommendations

III. FINtiCIilL    MANAkZukuwT                                   RESPONSIBILITfES
(analysis and reporting)
St28            ope+ions                  ~pxnlii
Accountant      Accoumint                 Accountant        Primary   Rmxions,       Activities,   andTasks

Promotes,      Directs or  Assists with                     A Account maintenancefor appropriated and non-
reviews, or    hnp!FrneFts                                    appropriated funds
                                                              Day-to$ay accounting and financial operations
                                                               (a$pg,    chss~,     reconciling, recording, and
                                                              adjustmg transachonsand account bahnces,mcluding
                                                              concurrent budgetary entries in general and subsidiary
               ,.               ..I. .I               i ;     Iedge@  .md preparing
                                                              repot ,td’~~~e        appropfiae
                                                                              &%.%.~,-&   with ~$yq.,.pd

                                                                         l   federal accounting standards(GAO P&+y
                                                                             and Ftveedam&fid@                  Gzcidartceof
                                                                             Fe&d      en&s, Title2),
                                                                         l   GUI? 9( or corporations, trusts, etc.),
                                                                         l   laws aad regulations, and
St&f           opesatiolls    systems
Accountant     Accountant     Aeeountant     PriamyFunctions,Activities,andTaslc~~              .m

                                             B. Management of specific administrative accounting
Monitors,      Monitors,      Assists with        1. Management, administrative, and pro.f=-y?=r
interacts,     interacts,                            uel on the certification of the availab ty of
verifies, or   verities, or                          to preclude over-obligation
approves       approves
                                                                                     :;.    :
Monitors,      Monitors,      Assists with        2. Pr          personnel on:,mt, construction, and
interacts,     ill&lXlCtS;                           wor“5$”-in-progresspayments and interagency
verities, or   Vi*=, or                              reimbursements
approves       approves
May            Manages        Assistswith         3. Disbursements and collection of funds to ensure
manage,                                              that accuratecashman ment exists through bill-
reviews, or                                          ing and cokction of deF ts aswell as payment
approves                                             under terms for purchasesor servicesreceived

May review Reviews or         Selectively         4. Payment of servicesor bills for purchases
or may ap- approves           reviews or
prove                         approves
May certify    Cetim or Mayceq                    5. Accuracy of supportingdata to’disbursiug
g7ze           may disburse                          function for payment of purchasesor services

Promotes,      Manages        Advises             6. Payroll operations, including leave and benefits
reviews, or
May con-       May conduct Assists with           7. Physical inventories to verify records and
duct or                                              condition or quantity of items and appropriately
reviews                                              adjust accounts,iffunction not assignedto others

                                             C. Financial and management analysis
Promotes,      Conducts or Assists with           1. Automated reviews of account balances
overseesor     promotes
,~~~.con-                     &s&g*&.
          andhi                                   2. Analysesand interpretation of accounting and
 duct,    monitors,           or promotes            financial management data to
monitors,      promotes,
promotes,      reviews, or
reviews, or    approves
                                                                                                    Appendix 1
    staff         OptSdOXlS    SJMXXtl8
    Accountant    Accountant   Accountant     h!imaryFuncdons,            Aetivitiea, and Tasks
                                                                l    analyzeobligations, deobligations, and
                                                                     expenditure by budget actwity, cost center,
                                                                     and object classfor use in budget justifica-
                                                                     tions to OMB and to the Congress;
                                                                l    assistmauagement in decision-making
                                                                     duties in matters ranging from discon-
                                                                    tinuauce, changesin current or long-term
                                                                     operations, or new program development;
                                                            l       veriQ antideficiency violations;
                                                            .       identify deviations Corn management plans;
                                                            l       assessadequacyof current accounting
                                                                    policies, systems, or procedures;
                                                            .       show the effects of changesin accounting
                                                                    methods on financial reports;
                                                            l       ad~yze costs of organizations, programs,
                                                                    job orders, or other categories;
                                                            l       calculatedirect and indirect costs;
                                                        l           determine causesof cost overruns;
                                                        .           review status of revolving fuudand
                                                                    monitor its cashltxls to ensuref&d
                                                        l           track reimbursable earnings;
                                                        9           determine adversetrends; and
                                                        l           recommend changesnecessary
   Reviews        Develops or Assists with       3. Cost anaIysistools (inflation indices, cost esti-
                  updates                           mates, allocation, or other distribuuon methods)

   Mayanalyze     Analyzes     Assists with      4. Forward fiuancing and multiyear procurement

   Provides       Provides     Assists with      5. Accounting and fiscal servicesto subordinate as
                                                    welI as department or headquartersfinancial
                                                    management organizations

   Promotes       Promotes     Assists with      6. Coo$ination of matters, such asfunds availability
                                                    and mventory control, with budget and procure-
                                                    ment staff

   Assists with   May         Not                7. yen                  &ims for final resolution or term&a-
.’ ,ormay.        prq=e,      applicable            ;I;-?~3            e sent    of Jusuceor GAO according
    cheisee       may submit,                                       . .s
                  or tracks

                                                                                          Appendix 1
St&           operations       sJ%tems
Accountant    Aecounmt         Accoulltant
                                             PrlnMl!v Funetions,Activi~,   andTasks
                           :                 D. Report preparation
May over- Directs,             As&ts with        1. Preparation recorxiliatio~ and consolidation of
see,reviews, prepares,                              iuternal aud exterual accounting and CnanciaI
or approves revrevvs,or                             management reports to meet legal or other report-
             approves                               ing requirements of the program, agency,or
                                                    department; the central management agencies;the
                                                    President; and the Congress, such as
                                                            budget execution
                                                            foreign military salesreports
                                                            expenditure reports
                                                            0rganizationaI status reports
                                                            allotment statusreports
/                                                           quarterly, monthly, and/or daily detail
                                                        .   annual reports, schedules,and financial
                                                            statementsaccompanied by appropriate dis-
                                                            cIosure notes
Monitors,   Compiles,    Ass~with                2. MultipIe reports, statements, and other
reviews, or reviews,                                documents submitted b subordinate organiza-
may compile monitors, or                            tious for operations wi t.i common characteristics,
            approves                                and preparesschedules,reports, and financial
                                                    statements-to ensureaccuratereporting and
                                                    identification of current or future problem areas
Promotes      Promotes         Promotes          3. Coordination of interagency program and joint-
                                                    *ding accouflting reports with other orgamza-
                                                    Uous or agenues

(development, operation, and.maintenance of systems with accounting,
budget, financial, and relevant program data)

St&           opemtiolls       systems
Accountant Accountant Accountant             Primary Functions, A&i&s,     andTasks

                                             A. Automated s tern planning, research,or usageadvice,
                                                inchldiug lnc rmauon management and technology
Pfmotes;      Contributes Provides or
reviews, or   to          oversizes

 StdT         operations        s*ll.ls
 heountant    Aieouutant        Aicountant   PrimaqFunuions,        Activities,   andTasks

Reviews,     ~Coordiuates Servesas                2. Prbject leader or manager fbr developing
monitors, or with                                    accouuting systemsor subsystems
Reviewsor     Drafis            Provides          3. Overall direction of new *couumd’
approves                                             fiuaucial system(s) projects, sp
                                                     development actwitxs, systemprogramming,
                                                     data baseadministration, audhardware and
                                                     software maintenauce

Provides or   Requests or Provides                4. Technical assistauceto
promotes      provides
                                                             . program managers,
                                                             l flnauce and accounting offices, +l
                                                         l     othef agencyu&s and systemdevelopers

Pr&ides or Updates              Provides          5. Advice to management and accounting 0Ecer or
promotes                                             supervisory accountant on systeminter&es,
                                                     controls, efFectiveness,and implementation of
                                                     higher level required systems

              Promotes          Prbmotes          6. Coordination of accounting and financial system
                                or assists           automation requirements with iufbrmation system

Promotes      Promotes          Promotes          7. Nonaccouutiug systeminterfaces

May oversee Reconciles          Conducts          8. Up-to-date inventory of accoun ’ and financiaI
                                                     management systemsand off-the-s “a elfaccounting
                                                     products used I.II an agencyto maintain account-
                                                     mg and financial records

Reviews or    JustXes           Justifk          9. Need hr primary or unique subsidi
approves                                            system(s) development basedon cost-
                                                    aualyses,GAO standard, OMJ3 regulatious, user
                                                    reqmrements, and multifhctional mtegration

R.eviews      Develops or Develops or           10. Innovative approachesto appIy automation tech-
              uses                                  nology to major resourcemanagement problems
              I                                        1. : -              .‘_

Part+ipates Participates Participates           11. In the design, planniug, implementation and use
                                                    of microcomp~rs in accountiug envirouments

                                                                                      Appendix 1
 St&          opexations   systems
 Aeeountant   Accountant   Accountant    PrimaryFun~ns,Actmities,      andTa&s
Reviews       lnsuires                      12.   The e6xt of higher IeveI system chaugesand
              about                               proposed chaugesolllocaloperations
Reviews or    Reviews      Applies          13. Accounting system polici~, procedures,and
approves                                        l-egukiorls to systemsdeslgu

                                         B. Development of accounting and fhancial automated
                                            system specifications

                                             1. Caordiuationwith usersto design specifications
                                                for system to meet users’needs

Reviews       Reviews      Develops          2. Functional s~catious       under contract or in-
                                                house) ibr accountiug and fbancial systemsalong
                                                with poIicies; roccdures,aud user iustruetious
                                                fbr designatecfoperating levels (seeaho II. J.)

Promo&s       Conducts     Assists           3. @views of detailed designsof systemsptxifica-
                                                tlons to ensure conformity with GAO standards,
                                                OMB.a+ Treas~ requirements, asweli as
                                                ~~~ondaxs,            procedures,and standards

                                         C. Test& validation, and installation of accounting and
                                            f&unuai automated systems
Reviews       Conducts     Coordinates       1. Tests and validations of ntiIy developedor
                           or assists           euhaucedaccounting and financiaI reporting

Reviewsor     Reviews      Analyzes          2. Systemvalidation and test resuks
Eusur~ or     Assistsill   PerhIlls          3. Installation of systems(Iocal to organizationwide)

Promotes or Reviews,       RLeviews,         4. System chauge requests
approves    may ap-        =Y ap-
            prove, or      prove or
            FYP            tests
Promotes      Conducts or conducts           5. Field tests of trainhg materials
              assim with or assists
                                                                                                  Appendix 1
       Staff          operations   systems
       Accountant    Aecoulltant   Aeeoulltant Primary Functions, Aetivi&,         and,Ta&s

                                                    D. Documentation of accountirig and financial
                                                       automated systems
 Approves            PlXpltS       Prepares              1. FLlnctiollal description of systems

 Reviewsor          Defines,       Assistswidl~          2. Accounting and financial systemrequirements,
 appkoves           sets, or                                such.asaccount coding structure and reporting
                    Utilizes                                reqwrements in developing or enhancing systems

PartiCi~kS          IA&j           Prepares, .’ *        3. Dveloptietit of fina.wiaI Systemsmanuals,
‘in,+stsor          reviqq         rewks,                   ph;. operations .hdbooks, systemsoperating
9pp@+               tests, or      t&if, @ly                prqcedures,and trairhg materials for new or
                    approves       approves                 revmd systemsand ~procedures

Recom-              Recom-      Makes or                 4. changes to accounting policy, operating .proce-
qemis or            mends or    recommends                 dub, and automated data systemghidatice to
approves            may a$prove                            euhance such system operations

Moni(ors or Monitorqor             Mainkius             5. Up-to~~t~~ documentation relative’to system
approves    approves                                       opeepons, design, and khanges
Promotes or Reviews or             Maintains            6. Documentation of ail computer program testing
approves    approves
Promotes            Requests       Issues               7. Necessarytraininginstructions


 St&                op!ation8      systems
 Accountant         Accountant     Accowmnt         Primary Functions, Activities, andTasks

May super- Supervises              Supervises A. Worlcphus and professional or nonprofessional stafFto
vise                                             carry out licy, operations, or systemsleadership
Servesas            Responds to Servesas            B. Proj? leader or manager fbr organization’s special
                                                       stucba and reviews monitoriug compliance with
                                                       policy, operations, or systemsresponsibilities and
StdF          operaliolls   sm’                     .’                                :   ,.,
Acwulltant    Aecoulltant   Accountant Primary Functions, ActMtk,          andTasks

Makes         aaakes                       C. OraI and written resentationsto superiok and top
                                              management anB other internai and externaI
                                              hxested parties to advise and report to them poky,
                                              operations, or systemsdeficiencies,ways to improve,
Provides or Provides or Provides pr D. Adequate internal and externaI trahing io&uus to
promotes    promotes    promotes        enye sMknows laws, n&s, and reI& tiolls as weu
                              :    :   as cur&t trends and developments i&&kcounting
                                       ,profkssionand related fields ,,. ,’       .

Proyidesor    Providesor    P,rovidesor E. .Development and pa&i ation in anacco~~
prgmo@s       pq+Js~        promo-.         iutern prom     model eB;rft;erthe Pr@de&al
                                            Managemat Intern (PA&l) program, for, tintroIler,
                                            generaIfhki~planagement,       and sujpen;isory
                                              ‘accountaxltposltlolls   I                    ’

Promote8      Promhes       Promotes       P. Greater irktielation bet&x& &nning,~budget,
                                              accounting, and kinancial management functions

Prepares,     prepares,     prepares,
cohducts,     collducts,    conducts, ,’
updates, or   updates, or   updates, or
promotes      promotes      promote3

                                       ,,               ‘,.


This appendix presentsaccounting knowledge, skiIls, and abijities (K&Is) that federal accouutants
need to perform thkir accounting fhnclions. These KSAs are derived from the federal accountant
&r$tiqns statement (append.@1). T+e accounting and reked education column presentssubject
area&The subj&.ind*       kderal +yting      standardsand requirementi (seeappendix 3), the
karniug of which normally requires 5 to 10 yearson-the-job trainiq supplemented by coursesand

@lb+~educationlist was developedin conjunction with ongoing studies, revisions of classifkation
and @alifkation standards,and other sourcesas list& in the bibliography to upgrade the pro&s-
sional stature ofthe GS-510 accountant The accountant%work and conkming education are the
basefir long-term financial management improvement in the federal government With the rapid
changesin automated technoiogy and constant refinement of accounting and federa budgeting
conceptsand standards,continuing professional education throughout everyone’scareeris

Individuals who join an agency at the middle or senior management Ieveh should review this list to
determine what lmowkdge they need to meet the basic technical background fix federal account-
ants. Prior on-the-job experiencemay be acceptedaccording to individual agencypolicy.
                                                                accountillKandrelated eduwion*

                                                                   Accounting theory
                                                                   Advanced accounting
                                                                   Cost accounting
    programs) ix&ding preparation of                               Statistics
    a propriate financial statements and                           Computer science
    c&d osures.
                                                                Elective courses:
                                                                      .&westment accounting
                                                                       Jndustry~s ecificaccounting


                                                              ,.., .., J!&Ggq!l-a=Q~~g           ,I. 7,,.,..,;
                                                                         *+ 7, XI ..,~.~‘“~~“.‘.:,,“‘““‘,”
                                                                       Oth& speuti         accountmg, Enance, or
                                                                       businessadministration courses
                                                                ,GMl? updates on principles, concepts,and
* Except hr item 11, the subject areasapply to the entire KSA item and not a spe&c subelment.
                                                          o~x++!n&lts:       ciixda&l,    “sunget.
                                                          Pqrmtition”; cirdar ii-s*, =mdget
                                                          Ikcudon”; arid other issuances

                                                         Treasury FinaneiaIManuaI      (Tl?M) requirements

                                                       Appropriatiy  a&unting, with emphasis on
                                                       fund control and fiuld availability

                                                       Special areaaceountiug
                                                          Credit management

                                                       Other regulatory requirements

                                                       Pro& fitiancia
                                                                   .,data                  ,,

1   For amorc detailedlist, seeappendix 3.
2   Theterm%ndcontror”r&rsto          mamging eongrcssionally-appropriatedfunds (obligational autbority)
    to eusurc that (1) tbcy arc used only fbr authorized purposes, (2) they are economically and e&iently
    used, (3) obligations and disbursementsdo not exceedtbc amounts authorized and available, and (4) the
    obligation or disbursement of amounts autborkd is not reserved or othcrwisc deferred witbout
    congressionallcnowlcdgc and approval. Every agencyis requ@edto have .asystemof a$ninistrat@e
    control of&&&,~~prov&$b~~~ Director oftbc Office of Management and Budget, that will restrict
    obligations or expend@res for each appropriation to the amounts appropriated and apportioned or
    reapportioned for the current fiscal per&L In addition, the systemused to control funds
    admkistmtively must fix responsibility for creating any obligation, incurring any expenditure, or making
    a disbursement in excessof an apportionment reapportionment, or other subdivision of authority. The
    requirements fbr thesesystemsand the fund control reporting areprescribed by OMB.
                                                                                Appendix 2
                                              ,ycoatiq~ditcdcdafPtian              ‘,
2. Understand, develop, and apply external    central agencyre@rements asstated above,
   reporting r uiremats for central agen-     sup+nented by mternaI agencyand other train-
   cies (GAO,“40MB, OPM, andTreasury)         ingmxentrahgency kequirementsand GAAP
   onaccounting,budgetary,udgetary,c.ial      updates on principles, concepts,and apphca-
            , payroll (leave and benefits),
                 l                            tiousintheareasof
   and GS on travel regulations.

                                                 Federalfinancial report@

                                                 Other reguIatory reqkements

                                                   l@id&~*&~tclaciotts         (FAR)
                                                   Pedqral trayA regulatioti
                                                   .T?ede*rekords ‘kg&i&s

3. Understand and appIy internal agency       lnternaf agency&an&l      pokies and
   awxming, budgetary, andfi.Imdd             procedures
   reporting r uirements, including grant,
   contract, an“8 procurement monitoring.     Agency accounting ma.uuaIsand handbooks
                                              Program regulations and handbooks

4. Understand and @nplementor apply the       Orga&zati&al and program orientations
   organization% mwslo~ laws, program
   provisions, regulations, and rocedures     A propriate legal, regulatory, and proceduraI
   mwordinationwithin     temaFaccount-       if ereqes. (i.e., Debt CoIkction Act) and simihr
   ing, budgetary, program, and financial     activities afkcthg management and operations
   reporting requirements

5. U&&stand the,inWeIatioqhips                SametrainiqasJistedinitemsland2above,
   g;sd=                                      supplemented by
                  .. bdlFt=Yi Program,
                                                On-the-job experience (hcluding intra- and
  a. Apply auaIytical skills to the data        interagency cross-traiuhg through rotation)
  b. Iq -ret efkcts, fhancial                   coursesill
        “fE cations, and trends
                                                   Management information requirements
  c. Prepare and summarize fhxxasts                statistical sampling
                                                   Appropriate mathematics

                                                                                                                              Appendix 2

6. Use researchmethods and techniques:          surveydesigll 5
  a. Apply statistkal sampling techniques       statisticalsampling
     .togatherandardyzedata                     Statistical analysis
                                                Statid      sofisvare ‘, j
  b. Recognizetherelevanceofdata
  d. Test datacollection procedures
  e. Test verification procedures


7. I.& lenknt i&&i&s ohh~ JQint Finan-          JFMlP seminars, forums, conferences,reports,
   CJ’ Man&&n$nt Improvement Pro-               andstudies
   gram and the cential overs’ t agencies
    (GAO, OMB, OPM, and Preasury).

8. Ap ly and evaluatecontrol star&u& for        InternaI control standards(GAO Pal’ ltttd Bv-
   fkd! raIgovernment accounting and            ccdtiru~d&         Gidmc ofFder lr Apn~ciw,
   reporting requirements:                      Titlc2, app. II)
  a useflowGhartingtechniq~                     Accoux+ng SystemsStandards’(GAOPoZ@ a&
    desigqed to &us oninternal controls of      l+llccd~ru~d&          Gu&mc OfFhdAgen-
    dlesystem                                   ciG.F,T&k 2, app. III)
  b. Recognize the significance of              F&d     Managkrs’ Fhkcial Integrity Act
       vtdne~ility~rnen~ini~~g                  @=I
       internal control weahsses
                                                OMB Circulars A-123, “Internal Control Sys-
  C.                                            tems”; A-127, “pinancial Management Sys
                                                teqs”; and A-130, =&hnapent ,of Federal
                                                InfbrmationR.esources~       ”

                                           i.           _   .‘.   .        I_   .        . .       _    .                .’    .

                                                                      .!            .,         .’ </.       ;   “6   :

     /’ “!’                                                                                                                                      Appendix 2
                                                                S&je&areaa,ofs’ I                                                 :
                                                                acw*‘d.relatcd*h                                                       ,,        ./.
      9. fthage SpecXc admiuhmtive account-                      Projectmauageinent~~             .’                                  .,
              UlgareaS:                                          Resource management
                                                                .Thne management
              a. Plan, organize, and prepare project             Team pmtion       and mariapent
                 outlines and worksteps                          Individual job lan@ng and management
                                                                Management Pk         techiques
              b. Prioritize and delegatework                    ~perfhlanceand~productivi
                                                                M@t&ung appropriate automated aa manual
              c. Modi@ w& to fit thxfhxs                         documentation support
                                                                  /   ;.     ..   : ,.               ,,.’   ,   .,   -,   .‘,‘1             ,”

              d. Document work in automated or                  IRf *                       for payroll,, 1099 .keporthg, travez
                 manuaIiik3                                                              , and other responsithies for required
                 :    :,                                        7e&P                     Yagency
              e. Report accorditigto requirepent                       I.,               :I    .,-

                                                                P*ral Acqu@ion Regulations
                                                                GSAal$-l     cy travf$ regulations
                                                                Other rer eo*,ini le ‘entig &gisIation such
                                                                as Prompt paynient Afctp
                                                                 .’ ,’
                                                                    , .,    ,, -I-                 :
     10. Understand and use organization’s                      Data processing
         hardwareandsoftwareto                                  Basic computer use
                                                                AppIication of a pro riate computer so&are
              a. Design databasesand data colhxtion             (mm0 or mainfknejj
                                                                Databaseconce$s, applications; and
              b.,Mahtain automated financial                    maintenance
                 informalioxlsystems                            DatabaseauaIysis              “,
,’        ‘c. Use exist@ databaseto create                      Computir systeni d+&     ‘:
              another database                                  System design in Worn&xl enVii-onment
          d Store and maintain data in usable
            ibrm      ’                                         Computer systemanalysiS 0
                                                                Computer system huagement
          e. Corn Iy with security laws and                     Computersekurity
             refJ ations
                                                                Tekommunications ~pplicatiork
          f. coIlsuItwithtechnicaspecialists                                    .’
             whennecessary                                      Understanding computei equipment
          g. Advisesubordinate 0nusingADP
             software and equipment                             Understanding specification develo ment and
                                                                review for computer equipment, soixv are, and
          h. Ident@ and solve databaseproblems                  appropriate controIs

     3         The Prompt PaymentAct of 1982 (Public Law 97-177; 31 U.S.C. 39) provides specific criteria to
               federal agcncks for de-g        due dates on commmcialinvoices when relatedcontracts do not include
               payment--timing provisions and requires agenciesto pay interest penaltieswhen payments arelate.
                                                                           Appedix           2
                                             ~subjcctarcaaof~           ;     ’
                                              accountingand~atcdcducation I.

11. Exercise supervision and leadership:
   a. Advise subordinates and management       Brie&g techniques and interpersonal com-
      on interpretation of standards,laws,     muuications
      remlations. and uolicies. or &her
     *wktraints;ti&g         accimhg,
      budgetxy, program, andhancial
      retxktiix areas
        *-    Y                                                           ,’
   b. Participate in and idvise                Problem-solvin and decisionu$ing
      and ass& s@ordinates                    MariagerialI eaf mEp     ::I,(    >
      pr+bkms atatatatatatatatatat
                     tc~selectand II&         ‘Managiugpersonal and organizational change
      appropriate Analyti&.tidm*              Managing performance
      methods; formats, and@ocedukes

   c. EfFktively motivate employees           Motivating assistants
                                              Chnmuuication with all personnel IeveIs

   d. Evaluate the adequaq of                  Cc;*~“f”““”                 appraisals,counseling,
      subordinate’s work

   e; Interview job applicants and select      DefiuiugneededskUs
       best candidatesin compkacewith          Conducting job interviews
       personnel processes

   E Plan and conduct training                 Instructor or facilitator training

                                                                        ., .:,.;:..   ,

                                                                                                   Appendix 2
                                                  accoe       and related education

12. Commuuicate the meaning of numbers            Briefiug techniques
    effectiveIy, orauy and in writing, to
                                                  Ruuniug effktive meetings
   a. &wide ap ropriate iuformation tx3
      present ani potentiai usersto make          Interpersodcommuuications
      rational investment, credit, or similar
      decisious                                   I3fRctive listening
   b, Present anaIj& of amounti, thing,           Pubiic speaking
      ad u+rt&nty ofphospective receipts
      andexpenditure                              Preparing, writing, and editing correspondence,
      >j                       I.                 reports,,and presentations
   c. Provide hfor~~~tion about the                                             ”
      a@able resources;claims to such 1           Prae     l   financialstatements,   disciosure

      resources,and iilqeffects oftransactions,   notes,
                                                       3     speciaIreports
      events,and tzircbstances on the entity%
   d Focus decisionmakingonIimiti
     resourcesand/or other coustraints

  e. Focus on efficiencv and efkctivenas
     of activities to me&we successofa
     program or entity
  f. Exphinaccountingstandardsin
     nontechnicaI Ianguage
  g. Report on stewardship of

                               !,                ‘-.,    ,.,           ,,

          ,GAAI?:                   :%      ‘,           _‘,, ’   ,;
                                          .‘,                                                           ‘   ‘./

               StandardsBoqd (ENS@ are geuerally applied,iri &XI&$ tirpora@o~~~‘~ ~co+we with the
            i ,prokisions &i fhtli i& thek euabw authorizatioti kderal agencit$generally~foIlow federal
                Apzc&i, Ti& 2, To tbkexteia &it @ida@e is not provided .by-@tsource, ~a&nciesareto
                tillow other g&a&k +.kpprop@e ,&v&ped by thk GApi ,@B, ‘;Ireasury; he Financial Ac-
                cm&g &tin&& hard (RUB), and the Governnieht Acchhg             S@I.I~$ Board (GASB).

           GAO:                                                                                ,’ ’
,’                         ./ :’         ,‘,                                  .,         ‘_
            ” Principlw ofP&dAm,                                  ,lst ed, GAO Of&e ofthe General Cqunse~
              ,(washington: GPO, June 1982):                                       .,           ,,
                    De&h      of tht CIb+dbr            Gent& oftbe Wited Stata            ‘I
     ,:             Policy andPvvcedtim~d*         G~&nceofFe&rd*~k:
                      Tit& 2, Wcounting Principks aud Standards,=Aug. 31,1987;
                      T&I%6, “payroll, Leave, and Allowauces,” June 5,1989;
                      Tit& 7, *PiA Guidaxw~ Feb. 12,199O.

                Acciwtztiqg Guide; Ba& Topiw ReW~~to~~rntcl                                   Wabh    (GAO/kiFMD   90-5,
                    Jan. 1990,exphuredrafk).                                       .

                      Cmc Fhanchd SystemReqGw&,                             Jan. 1988;
                      Pevroww@~ll                Syste~RequiremtWs, May 1990.

                    Circular requirements and related bulletins:
                      circular A-11, “Preparation and Submission ofBudget Estimates,” July 2,199O.
                      Circuiar A-34, Tnstructions on Budget Execution,” Aug.‘26,1985.
                      Circular A-123, %ternal Control Systems,” Aug. 4,1986.
                      Circular A-125, “Prompt Payment” Aug. 19,1982, and amendments (being revisediu 1990)
    circular ,&+27, ,$L&l      M-tit        SystcmsjsDS 1984 amended by
       Buhh M-85-10, ‘%anchIMeent                 &d Accounting’Objectiv&,” &. l&1985,
       Bulletin M-85-16, “Guidelines kr EvaluatiDg Financial Management and Accosting Sys
       tem$ May24 1985,
       BuItetinM-86-28, ThancialManagement SystemsWith Standard Generalkdger (SGL)
       Attadunent,“’ Sept. 19,1986,
       Bulletin M-88-32, ‘XstabIisbing Financial Management System Software Program,” (com-
       manly known asthe GSAProcurem em Schedde), $q$. 2?,,,1988,
       &mal CaJ.I,kx l?edqaI Managers’ Finaqci# Iqegri~~A& (FMFIA),Rep&a, July 5,1990,
       Ann@ C+lJfor ~-&XI! Fhancial Systizmglans, June $(I;:1989; ‘. ~,

 lb&ion CbMti        StirdfiAccunnti~       Seriw, GS-510. Washington, DC: Of&x of Person-
 n&hqeme~          December 1989 (supersedesFeb. 1961; amend&I (TS57), JUIX 1965).
 Positi Cf,aa#ah     Sttandurdfi~~        Stvits, GS-511. I&sbington, DC: OfIke of Personnel
 Managemen~May      1982.
 $&4qicatiS~&~Acwn              nti qg snita-, GS-510. Washington, DC:,OfEce ofPersonnel
 Management, June 1990.

 Zhkw~E4wz~~~~,          rehed bu&&s, and SpppIementalguidance.
 U.S. Government Stmdurd Gtvwrul~~,   1986.

                                                                  .   ...   ‘.;j   ^

     STAFFING LEI&Lf3 ,dP GS-510 ACCOUNTANTS                                                 BY’AGENCY

         Army,Department&he               . .. . .. ..V......................~..‘......                         2,666
         Air Force, De@rtment ofthe. ....................................                                       1,468
         Navy, Department of the ........................................                                       1,404
         Agritulmre,D&mtof                                    I’                                                  702
                                            .. ........ .... ................                    .........
         He&handkumanS~~,I)epartm&tof                                  .........................                  $89
         Treasury, Department of the .....................................                                        542
         Interior, Department of the .....................................                                        439
         Veterans AEairs, Department of ..................................                                        414
         Transportatio~~Department of ...................................                                         393
         Energy, De+rtnie& of .........................................                                           382
         D&ensk Logistics Agency ........................................                                         373
         Housing and Urban Development, Department of ....................                                        326
         ~ristice,‘Department of .........................................                                        293
         General~ti~Administrati0xl                ...................................                            249
         NationalAeronautics andspace Administration.. ......................                                      197
         Coxiunerce, Department of ......................................                                         ‘171
         Environmental Protection Agency .................................                                         160
         Securities &lkhange timmission ................................                                           151
         Labor, Department of ..........................................                                           136
         Department of Defense (other than Army, Air Force, Navy, and
         Defense Logistics Agency) .......................................                                         114
          State, Department of ..........................................                                           76
         Education, Department of .......................................                                           58
          Small BusinessAdministration ....................................                                         50
          OfEce of Personnel Management ..................................                                          48
          Other agencies ...................................................                                       493

         TOT AT.4                                                                                           11,894

         * These figures representthe la-t available OPM data as of June 30,199O.

      Appendix5            ”
      MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS                                  TO THIS REPORT

      Joint Finand             Management            Improvement            Program:
            Senior Project Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kenneth Winne
            Project Director,
                          , . . . . . . . . . . ..‘...............................                            Judithkerstenberg
      Other Contributors:
                   .,, / /
     Reviews of Functions Statement and SuggestedAreas of Education List:
‘, ,     @putment
         D~+-m&fH’&,&&0fAgricukure jHm&
                                                 ‘J&.                                                             Per Ben Ezra
                                                               . . . . . . . . . y . . . . . . y’...... ~. . . . . Jpe Per&one
         Department of Labor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . williamFurmall
         Departyq ofTmpo*tion              y.........,y.....................,..                                  JosephCapuano
         Department of V&era& Af%rs . . . . . ..a..d......A.....................                                        Myrta Sale
         @deral Energy Regulatory Commission . . . . ..*.....................                                     Steven Porman
         National Aeronautics aqd SpaceA&&i&ration . . ..?........................                                     Lew Lauria
         Oflice of PersoxinelManagement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Richard Indelicate
         Department ofAgricukure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Peter Ben Ezra
        Deparmxnt of D&nse . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..y......................                           Herbert A. Kraft, Jr.
        Departmeiit ofEnergy . . . . . . . . . . . ..*............*..................                                  JamesReid
        D;eP;artmentof Hkakh tid Human Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ‘Dennis Fischer
        Department #the titerior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . WilliamKendig
        Department of Labor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . W~amFurman
        GeneralAccountingoftice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Linda EhrIich
                                                                                                                   J. Tom Luter
                                                                                                                     Janett Smith
           ErnstandYoung . . . . . . . . . ..v................................                               Cornelius Tierney
           Financial Accounting StandardsBoard . . . . . . . ..a.....................                             David Moss0
           Grant Thornton . . . . . . . . . . ..I..................................                             Richard WUett
           KPMGPeatManvic.k . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Harold Steinberg
           Price Waterhouse . . . . . . . . . ..a..................................                            Edward J.HaUer


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                                                                                                                   w-.-v   I-r    ‘-‘““‘““‘~          WRWrn

                                                  _   -_    ,---   ---    ----   -    ----   --   ing4hxiation                   committee on the
;                        -.   -

              Govmmentall          Tmbiq~l+vj&.            Assdciation of Government Accountits. Alexhiria, VA:
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              Kkso, DonaId I&, ,andJerry J. Weygandt I&e&n&k&A                                               J&I Wdey& Sons, Inc., New
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Krause, Paul and StevenJ. Adams, *Are Management Accountants l?rofessionals?“&zqg~~
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                         ,, ,,,
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                     =The Human
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                                                        Accounting,” Jinmu,l
                                                                      Jinmu4 ofAcwzta~~~,,:Aug.
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             “,,           ,‘,
                           ,‘,              .I.I

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    Requeam hr copies ofJFMTl? reports should be sent to:

Joint Fiuancial Management Improvement Program
           666 11th Street NW,‘Suite 705
               Washington, DC 20001

             Telephone (202) 376-5439
                 Fax (202) 376-5396
    U.S. General Accounting Office
    IMPROVEMENT        PROGRAM             First Class Mail
         666 1 lth Street NW             Postage & Fees Paid
               Suite 705                         GAO
        Washington, DC 20001
                                          Permit No. G-100