The following illustration shows the GFOA’s approach to assessing the organization of the finance function in local government. Local governments across the country want their accounting function to meet user needs, provide the support necessary to achieve strategic goals, and assure taxpayers that appropriate financial stewardship is being exercised.
Assessment criteria used by GFOA are based on best practices in local government financial management. A successful finance function must provide high quality service in four main areas. These activities determine not just operational efficiency, but the reputation and trust that are engendered both within and outside the organization. In addition to these criteria, GFOA also reviews the following “checklist” of factors related to staffing, technology, and the business processes used in that department.
1. Financial Management
2. Cross-cutting Practices and Tools
Documented and regularly updated
Non-value added work minimized
Use of technology maximized
Staffing levels adequate
Skills match tasks and responsibility
Training regularly provided
Purpose and goals clear