Public sector IT professionals, CFOs share budget challenges

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Recent surveys by the Association of Government Accountants and Solarwinds found technology mixed with budget constraints top chief financial officers and IT professionals’ list of concerns.

The AGA survey found 14 percent of in-person respondents and 10 percent of online respondents thought technology was a problem for the future of their organization.

“We have all this data, but we are not doing the analysis to move forward,” one CFO told AGA.

The problems stem mostly from the demand for technological modernization while balancing a stringent budget.

“CFOs are getting more asked from them than ever before,” said Carlos Otal, managing partner at Grant Thornton.

According to Otal, budget constraints are keeping CFOs not only from learning new technology but putting pressure on them to perform the same duties on a limited budget.

Solarwinds survey found IT professionals from the public sector agreed they need increased budgets and more training to be prepared for growing network complexity.

One of the most pressing projects looming over CFOs and public sector IT professionals is the required shift to shared services. Cloud migration poses an obstacle, too.

“It’s a worthy goal, but as people retire there aren’t funds to train new people,” Otal said of switching to the cloud.

Another potential bump in the road for CFOs is the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, which is currently under consideration by Congress. The act would require agencies to report their data to the public.

Some agencies already have experience with this through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but many found it to be a burden with the budget cuts.

“We spent a lot of money to prove we are OK,” one CFO told the survey. Another said the transparency added a lot of extra labor to the workday.

“I doubt the DATA Act is even on most CFOs’ radar,” Otal said of the CFOs’ workload.

In the AGA survey, more than half of respondents online and in-person said the DATA Act had very little or little chance of prompting new reporting that engages stakeholders beyond those traditionally seen in financial statements.

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Association of Government Accountants, DATA Act, Tech
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