Guide offers best practices for accountability reports

A new how-to guide for agency financial managers offers useful tips for putting together annual accountability reports, those snapshot financial reports that are the federal equivalent of corporate annual reports. Although agencies have been strongly encouraged to produce the reports, they have not been required by law to do so; next year, the Office of Management and Budget will require all agencies to produce accountability reports that incorporate performance measurement data. The guide, "Accountability Reporting Trends & Techniques," by KPMG LLP's federal services division, evaluates the 2000 fiscal year accountability reports of 21 agencies. The scope and content of accountability reports varies considerably across agencies. The guide provides details on everything from how agencies formatted their reports, to the information they provided. Those agencies seeking to improve their reports, or those compiling reports for the first time next year, will find practical examples of how other agencies have successfully presented management information, financial and performance data and planning and mission goals. "We thought a document that demonstrated best practices would be useful," said John Hummel, a partner at KPMG. He offered a few words of advice for those agencies just getting started: start early, plan well and give one influential individual the responsibility--and authority--to pull together information from across the agency. For the sake of clarity and consistency, the staff compiling the report must be able to edit information and recast it to reflect a unified theme, or at least rewrite it using a consistent voice. One pleasant finding, Hummel said, was how good many of the accountability reports were. "I think all federal managers involved in preparing these reports should be commended for their work. These people worked very hard on these [reports] and they are excellent documents."
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.