2019-04-12 / Viewpoint

Stand-To! Army Financial Reform

Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management and Comptroller

What is it?

The Army is focused on reforming the Department’s financial practices to improve performance and to optimize its purchasing power. Army financial reform consists of two “pillars” – auditability and financial stewardship. The law requires the Army to produce auditable financial statements and account for the money it spends, and the property and equipment it manages.

What are the current and past efforts of the Army?

To continue progress in financial reform, the Army is aggressively developing a culture that expects auditable records at every level. The Army has a responsibility to maximize its resources, operate transparently, and execute its budget, according to the law and the intent of Congress.

As expected, the results of the fiscal year 2018 (FY18) audit produced a benchmark to begin measuring progress for future audits. The Army is taking steps, such as implementing strong internal controls, to remediate findings ahead of the FY19 audit.

On Dec. 14, 2017, the secretary of the Army directed the establishment of the Command Accountability and Execution Review (CAER) program. The CAER program helps to maximize the Army’s purchasing power, encourage active management of Operations and Management funds by leaders and decrease the number of de-obligations. The establishment of the CAER program is considered a milestone for financial reform.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

In developing the FY20 budget ($182 billion), Army leaders reviewed all programs and projects, aligning them with the National Defense Strategy (NDS) and Army priorities. The NDS explains how the U.S. competes, deters, and defeats the nation’s adversaries. The results validated Army programs, synchronized resourcing and reinvested savings in programs which focused on financial reform and auditability.

The Army is also reinforcing a “cultural change” to its leaders. Financial stewardship will continue to be a command responsibility. Leaders and commanders, at all levels, will be held responsible for the management and performance of their budgets.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army has a responsibility to maximize its resources, operate transparently, and execute its budget, according to law and policy. Congress penalizes the Army for losing buying power by cutting funds from its appropriations. The Army is committed to optimizing purchasing power by efficient budget execution through financial reform.

It is important the American people have confidence in the Army’s management of every taxpayer dollar it receives. The Army must continue to demonstrate its people and processes can be trusted.

Return to top