FORSCOM budget and accounting team recognized for year-end closeout
October 15, 2012
- The G8 is responsible for balancing a $3.3 billion budget.
- The budget covers civilian pay, contracting actions and supplies.
- The team met all Army Budget Office requirements and suspense dates.
Some people find balancing a checkbook a challenge. Imagine balancing a $3.3 billion budget that resources the Army's largest command, with units stationed across the United States.
That's exactly what U.S. Army Forces Command's budget and accounting team was charged with doing during fiscal year-end operations on Sept. 30. Several members of the team were recognized recently for their efforts.
"We like to say year-end close out starts on 1 October," said Murray Pittman, Deputy Budget Officer for FORSCOM G8. "The results achieved on 30 September of this year reflect the team's cumulative efforts since 1 October of last year."
While the work goes on year-round, the team works especially hard the last 30 days of the fiscal year. While the rest of FORSCOM headquarters enjoyed their weekend off, the G8 was hard at work until 4 a.m., Monday, Oct. 1 closing out accounts, identifying and correcting accounting issues or erroneous financial transactions, meeting Army Budget Office (ABO) reporting requirements and, most importantly, ensuring Fiscal Year 2013 funds were in place to enable continuity of operations across FORSCOM's subordinate commands.
The team was responsible for reconciling discrepancies in the financial system for civilian pay, contracting actions and supplies. Uncorrected mistakes, Pittman said, can result in an Anti-Deficiency Act violation, which can impact timeliness and future funding.
"The team met all ABO reporting requirements to include final close-out flash reports on the 30th. We did not miss one suspense to ABO," Pittman said. "This required monitoring final financial transaction (processing) runs through midnight on the 30th to ensure no unanticipated financial transactions passed and correcting any transaction errors in the General Fund Enterprise Business System prior to the financial system closing for FY 12. Cross-communication with subordinate commands and within the FORSCOM Headquarters was exceptional."
Lt. Col. L. Bell, chief of the FORSCOM G8's Field Analysis Branch, said balancing the books is really just part of what the team does. At the end of the year, FORSCOM has to make tough decisions about funding in coordination with the FORSCOM G3/5/7 (Operations, Plans and Training). "At the end of the year, we have emerging requirements, critical requirements. We try to prioritize the requirements and make sure the most critical are funded."
Anthony Gilliam, a team leader for Bell's team, said prioritization of funding is like putting together a puzzle, where the pieces change daily as you juggle available dollars and reallocate them against ever-changing requirements. "You want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck," he said.
And, when all the priorities are determined and funded for the current year, the budget and accounting team can't forget about the next fiscal year.
"The biggest challenge is trying to close out and be prepared for the upcoming year's execution," said Linda Corley, Chief of the Control Branch. "Come 1 October, they have to have funds to start executing."
For their work, Lt. Gen. William B. Garrett III, FORSCOM deputy commanding general, recognized members of the G8 team, Oct. 11 for their successful year-end close out operation. In addition to Bell, Gilliam and Corley, he cited Carla Chandler, Rathellis Dawkins, Col. Darryl Murch and Lynwood Stewart.