Core Competencies in Financial Management for Management Analysts and Financial Specialists (Exposure Draft)

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-10-01.

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


Core Competencies
in Financial Management
for Management ,Analysts and
Financial Spe$ialists   ‘,

                        A Joint Project of the
 Human Resources Committee of the Chief Financial Officers Council
    and the Joint Financial Management.lmprovement    Program     ._

                                                                       -October 1997   k

DATE:        October 17, 1997                                                               c

To:          Members of the CFO Council and other Senior Financial       Managers

FROM:        Acting Executive   Director, JFMIP   -- Doris A. Chew

Subject:     Core Competencies for Management       Analysts and Financial   Specialists

The Joint Financial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP) and the Human
Resources Committee of the U.S. Chief Financial Officers Council, have worked
together to develop core competencies, learning objectives and related development         - i
activities for personnel who work in CFO offices. Attached is the exposure draft of          ~
core competencies in financial management for management analysts and financial
specialists that was developed by an interagency project team. Kenneth Bresnahan,
Chairman, CFO ,Council Human Resources Committee and I would appreciate that
you share this document with those in your organization and have them review the             i
draft document.

Please submit any comments to us by November 30, 1997. The draft is posted
electronically on FinanceNet under CFO Council Human Resources Committee and
JFMIP websites at <<http://www..financenet.gov>>.

Comments should be sent to:

        441 G Street NW, Room 3111
        Washington, DC 20548

or you may fax your comments to (202) 512-9593.

If you have any questions on the Core Competencies in FinunciaL Management fol
Management Analysts and Financial Specialists, please contact Len Bechtel at (202)
260-2481 or Terry Conroy at (202) 219-6891.


   Ulshinpn.  DC 20548

Core Competencies in Financial Management for Management Analysts and Financial Specialists
is the fifth document in a series of core competencies publications developed jointly by the Chief
Financial Officers Council and the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program. These ’
documents include the:

        Framework for Core Competencies for Financial Management Personnel in the Federal
       ‘Government, which ,established core competencies for accountants, budget analysts, and
        financial managers;

       Core Competencies in Financial Management for Program Managers in the Federal

       Core Competencies in Financial Management for Information       Technology Personnel in
       the Federal Goverbment; and

       Core Competencies for Financial System Analysts in the Fed&al Government.

Through a combination of diminishing resources and passage of the Government Performance and
Results Act, the financial community has been, asked to become more efficient in its use of its
human resources. As the budgeting, planning, analysis and accountability functions have become
more integrated, the competencies required to perform as either a Management Analyst or
Financial Specialist have become interchangeable. As a result, the document may be used to
define core competencies for both the Management Analyst and Financial Specialist positions.
This merging of competencies affects only those persons working in financial management
organizations and does not override the distinction made by the Office of,Personnel Management
between how the two positions are defined for personnel classification purposes.

This document identifies the core competencies required for entry level (level l), mid-level   (level
2), and senior non-managerial staff (level 3) and the appropriate learning objectives and
developmental activities.
              for Management Analysts and Financial Specialists
Introduction                                                       ‘.

       Core Competencies”iti Financial Management for Management AnalySts and Financial
SpeciaZists is the fifth in a series of core compdtencies publications’developed by the Human
Resources Committee of the Chief FinancialOfficers     (CFO) Council and the Joint Financial
Management Improvement Program (JFMIP). This document, like its prededessors, concerns
the recruitment, development and retention of staff for key financial management positions.

Management Analysts and Financial Specialists

         Management analysts and financial specialists play critical roles ‘in the financial
 management and budgeting communities. .,Employees odcupyirig these, positions serve as the
 office “generalists,” participating in a broad range of activities related to the budget and
 accounting practices of their agencies. While lacking the specific expertise or educational      i.
background of many of their colleagues (e.g., accountants), Management Analysts and
Financial Specialists often possess a broad array of personal qualities, including strong
organizational, analytical and communications skills, that make them valuable to ,management
and capable, of leading ‘office-wide exercises such as planning, training or lprogram’liaison.
         While management analysts traditionally performed functions requiring program
reviews, coordination and analysis, financial specialists provided expertise and technical
-assistance to core financial operations. The gap betweenthe two positions closed .,
considerably when Congress passed the Government Performance arid, Results Act (Results
Act). Under the Results Act, agencies need to ensure greater integration among their
planning, budgeting, analysis and accountability activities. Agencies can no longer run their
management processes as a series of independent activities.

         As a result, financial specialists need to be aware of and participate in planning and
budgeting activities to make accounting information more relevant to program managers. On
the other hand, management analysts must be able to understand the value of financial
information in order to analyze accountability information and make appropriate
recommendations to management. While specific tasks assigned to management analysts and
financial specialists may continue to reside in different parts of the organization, the
knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform both positions have become remarkably
similar for both.

        An interagency working group began the core competencies project by identifying
knowledge, skills and abilities for each of the positions. After the first draft, it became
apparent to the working group that a single set of core competencies was required. This
document identifies these core competencies. The competencies are divided into three general
categories: Basic Government Operations; Planning, Budgeting and Accountability; and

General ,Management.
         These are the three general areas that every Management Analyst and Financial
Specialist should seek to develop. Because employees in these positions cover such a broad
range of functions, it is likely that managers and employees will need to tailor the
competencies to fully reflect, what any Management Analyst and Financial Specialist in their
organizations shouldbe aspiring to know or be able to do. In addition, the document
indicates the appropriateness of the’core competencies,for three distinct levels: 1) Entry level
personnel; -2). Mid-level staff; and 3) Senior non-managerial staff. Not every core competency
could possibly be achieved at each level, and this document attempts to make it clear where
more senior staff need to take greater responsibility.

        This section of the document reflects contributions from many parties. Source
documents prepared ,by the Department of Defense, Department of Energy and the
Environmental,Protection,Agency     served as models for the core competencies. In addition,
several agencies participated on,the Workgroup developing the language for the specific
competencies. ‘. , 1 :

How to Use This Document,
    I,           .:
        Use this .document as a guide for making a multitude of workforce decisions from
considering what type of staff to hire to planning and executing staff development programs.
Make. this document the centerpiece of discussions between management and staff regarding
training choices ,or rotational: assignments. This document helps management to communicate
its expectations to staff. It also provides, a mechanism for staff members to request assistance
from management to help them grow personally and professionally. The document is just one
tool to assist you .with difficult personnel issues. For additional assistance, you are
encouraged to turn to,,human resource professionals in your agency.
                                       MANAGEMENT                   ANALYST       I FINANCIAL          SPECIALIST

          CORE COMPETENCIES                            Levels
      (Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or        .                               LEARNING       OBJECTIVES                DEVELOPMENTAL            ACTIVITIES
                Skill in Using)
                                                   1     2      3

A. Basic Government Operations

 1   Knowledge of basic missions,                  X     xx           1. Identify
                                                                          ”       the legislative mandates and         Courses:
     functions, and organizational structure                             Administration priorities for the agency.       Government Performance and Results
     of the agency and its offices.                                                                                      Act Authorizing legislation

                                                                                                                       Work Experiences:
                                                                                                                         Rotational assignments to agency
                                                                                                                         planning office, program office
                                                                                                                         planning staff, or Congressional
                                                                                                                         liaison office.

2    The impact that agencies such as              X     X      X     1. Identify the role and responsibilities   of   Courses:
     OMB, Treasury, GSA and OPM have                                     central agencies.                               Federal Government Operations
     on agency operations.                                                                                               Public Administration
                                                                     2. Discuss approaches for-maximizing                                         .-..      .
                                                                        support for agency mission by working          Work Experiences:
                                                                        with central agencies.                           Details to central agencies
                                                                                       . ,.                              Projects. working on functions
                                                                                                    .I    .:             requiring interaction with central
                                                                                                                         agency staff.
          CORE COMPETENCIES                        LC?VdS
      (Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or                                      LEAFWING     OBJECTIVES              DEVELOPMENTAL              ACTIWhS
                Skill in Using)
                                               1       2    3.

3   Public laws, executive orders, OMB         X       X    X        1. Review legislative and administrative    courses:
    circulars, bulletins, agency directives,                            requirements impact Federal resources       Appropriations law
    Comptroller General decisions and                                   management.                                 Budget formulation
    court opinions governing the. agency’s,.                                    _.                                   Management Integrity
    management processes.                                        :   2. Explain the role and impact of the
                                                                        Comptroller General and court opinions                 :
                                                                        on resouices management.                 Work Experience:
                                                                                                                   Details to plauuing,budget       and
                                                                                                                   iinance offices
                                                                                                                                . ..




                                                                                                                   :   I
           CORE COMPETENCIES                        Levels
       (Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or                                 LEARNING       OBJECTIVES                 DEVELOPMENTAL           ACTIVITIES
                 Skill in Using)
                                                1     2      3

B. Planning,   Budgeting   and Accountability

1    Strategic planning process                       x      x   1. Explain elements of strategic planning.       Courses:
                                                                                                                    Strategic planning
                                                                 2. Identify relationships among strategic          Customer service
                                                                    planning, budgeting and financial               Creative decision making
                                                                    management.                                     Leadership

                                                                 3. Describe requirements   of Federal            Work experience:
                                                                    planning.                                       Participating in agency strategic
                                                                                                                    planning process.
                                                                                                    .             ’ Reviewing strategic plans for cross-
                                                                                                                    cutting agencies. -

2    Basic budget, accounting and program       X     X      X   1. Explain budget and accounting                 Courses:
     terminology, concepts, and principles                          terminology and application.                    Government accounting
     including agency budget principles                                                                             Budget formulation
     and procedures and the agency’s                             2. Identify agency financial systems and their     Budget presentation
     financial management system.                                   uses.                                           Budget execution
                                                                                                                    Government accounting
                                                                                                                    Cost Accounting
                                                                                                                    Standard General Ledger
                                                                                                                    Accounting Standards

                                                                                                                  Work experience:
                                                                                                                    Rotational assignments within
                                                                                                                   plamiing , budgeting and finance

          (Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or      T
                                                           -    -
                                                                          T           LEARNING     OBJECTIVES                DEVELOPMENTAL           ACTIVITIES
                    Skill in Using)
                                                     1     .2         3
-                                                -        -       -
    3   Structure of appropriations and other        X      X         X       1. Identify statutory and regulatory          courses:
        funds that support accomplishments to                                    requirements associated with budget           Federal ‘budget process
        the agency’s mission.                                                    execution.                                    Budget planning and formulation
                                                                                                                               Appropriations Law
                                                                          2. Describe Funds control and identify               Cash Management
                                                                             internal policies that ensure administrative     .Govemment Accounting
                                                                             control of funds.                                      :
                                                                                                                            Work experience:
                                                                          3. Demonstrate necessary budget functions to        Participating in preparation of
                                                                             accomplish organizational-mission within         organ&ational budget submissions.
                                                                             legal parameters.                               Supporting manager in. budget
                                                                          4. Explain options for maximizing resource
                                                                             in complex operating environment.
-                                                -        -       -
    4   Agency’s budget operations and                        X       X   Identify priorities and mandates for              Courses:
        processes and how obligations and                                 designated program area and identify process        Program regulations and operations
        expenditures are incurred for assigned                            for estimating spending and managing funds.         Budget Execution             _’
        program areas.
                                                                                                                            Work Experience:
                                                                                                                              Details to program offices.
                                                                                                                              Joint: projects with program office
-                                                -        -       -

         CORE COMPETENCIES                       Levels
     (Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or                                   LEARNING       OBJECTIVES                DEVELOPMENTAL          ACTIVITIES
               Skill in Using)
                                             1     2      3

5   Current program, budget and                           X     Explain importance and impact of specific       Courses:
    accounting issues and state-of-the-art                      budget and accounting issues to high-level        Relevant .Graduate-level courses.
    developments in resources                                   program officials.
    management field. Areas outside of                                                                          Work experience:
    the budget which have financial                                                                               Continuing education in the budget
    importance to the programs of the                                                                          . and accounting fields-.Interaction
    agency.                                                                                                      ,with peers and participation in
                                                                                                                  professional seminars and symposia.
                                                                                                                 ,Training.in a variety of financial
                                                                                                                  management or business areas.

6   The Congressional appropriations and           x      x      1. Identify the steps in preparing budget      Courses in:
    federal budget preparation processes .                          narratives and exhibits for inclusion in       Federal budget processes
    as it applies to the agency.                                    OMB and Congressional budgets.                 Budget formulation
                                                                                                                   Budget estimating techniques
                                                              : 2. Outline possible agency responses to            Budget presentation and. justification
                                                                   potential Congressional reactions to            Congressional Appropriation process
                                                                   proposed agency budgets.
                                                                                        ;   ..


          CORE COMPETENCIES                   Levels
      (Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or                            LEARNING       OBJECTIVES              DEVELOPMENTAL          ACTIVITIES
                Skill in Using)
                                          1     2      3   _

C. General Management

1   Basic techniques of financial         x     x      x   1. Describe the fundamentals of financial    Courses in:
    management, economic analysis,                            management.                                 Accounting controls
    contract management, assistance                                                                       Business administration
    management and business practices.                     2. Identify techniques of bench marking,       Analytical techniques
                                                              analysis and evaluation.                    Process reengineering
                                                                                                          Program evaluation
                                                                                                          Fundamentals of Federal Procurement
                                                                                                          Contract management
                                                                                                          Grants management
                                                                                                          Management Integrity

                                                                                                        Work experience:
                                                                                                          Participation on process reinvention
                                                                                                          Projects involving in-depth program
                                                                                                          Evaluating internal controls

2   Strategic planning process                  x      x   1. Explain strategic planning process.      : Course in:
                                                              Identify relationships among strategic       Strategic planning
                                                              planning, budgeting and financial            Customer Service
                                                              management.                                  Creative decision making
                                                           2. Describe requirements for Federal            GPRA
         CORE COMPETENCIES                   Levels
     (Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or                            LEARNING       OBJECTIVES                  DEVELOPMENTAL           ACTIVITIES
               Skill in Using)
                                         1      2     3

3   Performance measures, cost                  x     x   1. Identify principles of and possible            Course in:
    accounting and analysis.                                 application of cost accounting in the            Cost Accounting
                                                             Federal government.                              Information Systems
                                                                                                              Performance measures
                                                          2. Review the uses of and possible                  Program analysis
                                                             application of performance measurements,         GPRA
                                                             particularly in relation to the Results Act.
                                                             Demonstrate how performance                    Work experience
                                                             measurement can be integrated into the           Detail to office coordinating aggncy
                                                             budget process.                                  cost accounting.
                                                                                                              Projects involving analysis of cost
                                                                                                              and/or performance data.

4   Generally accepted management        x      x     x   Identify and explain accepted management          Courses:
    principles and practices.                             principles and practices, organizational            College management courses
                                                          development, concepts and principles.               Conferences and Workshops

                                                                                                            Work Experience:
                                                                                                              Process Reengineering Team
                                                                                                              Human Resource Projects
                                                                                                              Organizational Reviews
                                                                                                                     -   .      ,,   ,   ,

         CORE COMPETENCIES                      Levels
     (Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or                               LEARNING     OBJECTIVES                DEVELOPMENTAL                    ACTIVITIEs
              Skill in Using)
                                            1     2      3

5   Organizational development concepts            x     x   Discuss principles and applications of        Courses:
    and organizational analysis                              organizational assessment, management           Organizational Development
    techniques, performance effectiveness                    intervention and change management,             Change Management
    concepts, productivity measurement                       management indicators, effectiveness and        Bench marking
    and measurements system.                                 efficiency measures, and measurement system     Program Analysis
                                                             design techniques.                              Performance Management

                                                                                                           Work experience:
                                                                                                             Rotation to Human Resource Office
                                                                                                             Participation on performance measure
                                                                                                             development teams.

6   Federal procurement, contract                  x     x   Identity and interpret Federal policies       Courses:
    management and grants management                         regarding procurement, contract management,     Federal Procurement
                                                             cooperative agreements and grants.              Grants
                                                                                                             Contract Management
                                                                                                             Project Officers Training

                                                                                                           Work experience:
                                                                                                             Serve as delivery order project
                                                                                                             officer for work assignment.
                                                                                                             Develop Statement of work for
                                                                                                             Rotational Assignments

                                                  CORE COMPETENCIES                     Levels
                                              (Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or                              LEARNING     OBJECTIVES                 DEVELOPMENTAL          ACTIVITIES
                                                        Skill in Using)
                                                                                    1     2      3

                                         7   Productivity improvement systems and          x     x   1. Identify processes for reviewing and        Courses:
                                             business reengineering processes.                          reengineering business practices.             Productivity Improvement
                                                                                                     2. Interpret and apply knowledge and design,     Process Reengineering
                                                                                                        acquisition process, procedures,              Workflow Analysis
                                                                                                        terminology and documents, and
                                                                                                        implementation of productivity              Work experience:
                                                                                                        improvement systems.                          Reengineering Team
                                                                                                                                                      Rotation to planning office

           .   ,,,,   i   II ,,,   ,/,
    /I 1
          CORE COMPETENClES                       Levels
      (Knowledge of, Ability to Use, or                                 LEARNING      OBJECTIVES               DEVELOPMENTAL          ACTIVITIES
                Skill in Using)
                                          1         2      3

D. General

1    Oral and written   communication     x          x     x   1. Prepare and present analyses, reports and   Courses in:
                                                                  budget justifications to officials.           Basic communications skills
                                                                                                                Briefing and presentation techniques
                                                               2. Conduct and, participate in effective         writing skills

2    Basic computer applications          X          X     X   Demonstrate how to use computer application    Courses in:
                                                               to present financial data.                       Basic computer use
                                                                                                                Software packages used by agency
                                                                                                                (i.e., spreadsheets, graphics,
                                                                                                                presentation software).

3    Stress and time management           x          x     x   Discuss stress and time management             Courses in:
     techniques                                                techniques to meet tight deadlines.              Stress management
                                                                                                                Time management
               U.S. General-Accounting     Office
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