The Federal Financial Management community has made significant progress in improving the cost, quality, and performance of its systems.

Initiatives directed and sponsored by Office of Management and Budget (OMB), General Services Administration (GSA), and the Treasury Department have provided the incentives and guidance necessary to build upon that progress. However, many agencies continue to face challenges meeting certain standards for accounting and reporting, and continue to use outdated financial systems that minimally support their financial performance and accountability. Moreover, some agencies still use legacy financial systems that feed their core Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Many of these systems are old, outdated, and costly to maintain. Additional efforts to improve financial systems through upgrades or replacement of legacy technology in an effective, efficient, and transparent manner will help agencies realize the full value of their investment in ERP systems.

In 2010, the IBM Center for The Business of Government published What We Know Now: A Look into Lessons Learned Implementing Federal Financial Systems Projects. That special report presented ten principles designed to provide insight into how to best deploy financial management systems, with a focus on optimizing resources and information. The principles were based upon lessons learned from multiple financial management system deployments throughout the public sector and remain relevant today:

  • Engage Stakeholders;
  • Manage proactively;
  • Simplify processes;
  • Work together;
  • Plan acquisitions;
  • Guide change;
  • Tighten scope;
  • Conduct reviews; and
  • Commit resources;
  • Test thoroughly.


Since that publication, new opportunities and technologies have rapidly appeared. Cloud computing and shared services are becoming commonplace in the public sector. ERP vendors are beginning to encourage clients to move to the cloud by adding higher-end capabilities and announcing end-dates for on-premises systems support. In addition, new technologies and capabilities, including robotic process automation (RPA), blockchain, and artificial intelligence (AI), promise to enable significant gains in productivity. The automation of RPA, the trust and security enabled by blockchain, and the cost savings provided by shared services can all deliver significant business value.

We hope that this special report, Financial Management for The Future: How Government Can Evolve to Meet the Demands of a Digital World, will help government leaders and stakeholders capitalize on the promise of new technologies and business practices to increase the value of government financial systems.

Read our infographic on the report.

Watch our video oveview: