ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - First Army conducted a Financial Management Summit April 18-21 in the Pershing Conference Room of First Army headquarters.

The primary focus was on providing practical training to increase the ability of First Army financial managers to forecast requirements, analyze performance, and give accurate resource management feedback to commanders. All this is done in order to enhance the managers' ability to make cost-conscious and informed decisions.

Other goals included strengthening financial management processes, understanding First Army business rules, getting a clear vision of the common resource operating picture, and synchronizing budget efforts across the brigades.

Julie Lundy, First Army budget officer, talked about the importance of being able to meet face-to-face to discuss issues relevant to attendees.

"The purpose of this was to bring all geographically disbursed brigade S8 personnel to the headquarters to discuss current and new business processes, lessons learned, and provide hands on training, while identifying issues and concerns for resolution," she said. "Additionally, we wanted to provide a platform for the sharing of information and ideas."

The open forum concept ended up paying big dividends, she added.

"During the discussion portion of the summit, all participants were engaged and were able to share their knowledge and lessons learned," Lundy said. "Participants even requested that the summits be held more often. They enjoyed the discussions and hands-on training."

Lundy noted that attendees will take lessons learned and new knowledge back to their respective First Army brigades. "They learned the new business processes and upcoming requirements, as well as techniques to resolve issues," she said.

David Cannon, First Army deputy chief of staff for G8, added, "They enjoyed the
discussions and especially the hands-on training. Brigade S8s appreciated
the direct interaction with the Headquarters G8 Staff and especially the
discussion with the division support command budget analyst."

Cannon said a priority was placed on strengthening financial management processes to allow for forecasting, executing, and analyzing the command budget. He reported that the summit met its goals.

"We discussed current and new business processes, provided hands on training while identifying issues for resolution, and reviewed lessons learned," he said. "We also
provided greater exposure to the First Army Resource Requirement Management Tool and its ability to provide greater fidelity to the Command Budget Estimate process. It was beneficial to introduce new ideas and approaches as well as share existing methods to increase both effectiveness and efficiency. I believe each attendee was able to build their knowledge base and returned to their command revitalized on maximizing readiness through financial management stewardship."