A new survey from the Association of Government Accountants and Grant Thornton‘s public sector arm describes the methods used by chief financial officers from federal and state government agencies to make decisions to address information technology, workforce, organizational resiliency and real estate challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
AGA and Grant Thornton said Tuesday they carried out nearly a dozen interviews with federal CFOs and financial management executives from agencies between March and April 2021 for the report “The COVID-Challenge: Views on Organizational Resiliency in Pandemic Conditions” and found that majority of the respondents reported no significant drop in productivity during the transition to virtual work environments.
The survey describes the measures used by agency CFOs to address issues concerning employee onboarding, personal and professional development and hiring and retention in virtual settings.
“CFOs have played a critical role in the continuation of government services during a tremendously challenging time for our nation. While the financial and operational impacts of the pandemic continue to unfurl, CFOs will remain steadfast in their efforts to ensure the public sector workforce and infrastructure are agile and adaptive to new responsibilities.” said Tony Scardino, managing principal at Grant Thornton.
Agency CFOs also saw an increase in the use of meeting and teleconferencing platforms during the health crisis. The report recommends that CFOs and chief information officers work together to make virtual workforce support an IT budget priority and consider efforts to modernize their financial systems.
According to the report, the pandemic highlighted the importance of enterprise risk management and agencies should prioritize ERM as a key component of their operations and strategic planning efforts. Agencies seeking to create a resilient workforce should schedule touchpoints, seek feedback from employees and provide them an opportunity to oversee initiatives.