The Association of Government Accountants and Grant Thornton’s public sector arm have released a new survey describing how chief financial officers from federal and state government agencies manage the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and outlining several recommendations agency CFOs should consider as they navigate through the health crisis.
Government CFOs oversaw the rapid distribution of COVID-19 response and relief funds within two months after Congress approved approximately $2.6T in federal funds through four pandemic relief measures enacted in March and April 2020, AGA and Grant Thornton said in a joint release issued Thursday.
AGA and Grant Thornton interviewed a dozen CFOs from federal and state agencies between August and September of last year for the annual CFO survey “Managing Finances for the Future” and respondents said government CFOs should adopt an agile culture through collaboration, repositioning personnel and embracing change to facilitate operations.
Respondents said agencies should reevaluate their investments in information technology infrastructure as telework continues and advance efforts to use data analytics and other reporting tools to promote transparency.
"CFOs have played a critical role in the continuation of government services during a tremendously challenging time for our nation. While the financial impacts of the pandemic slowly unfurl, CFOs will continue to be steady stewards of taxpayer dollars and ensure funds reach the citizens and programs that need them most,” said Tony Scardino, managing principal at Grant Thornton.
The survey’s recommendations also cover centralized response, staff, budget, guidance and competition for resources.