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US Department of Education Principal Office Functional Statements
Office of the Chief Financial Officer

Functional Statements > Office of the Chief Financial Officer

C. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OPERATIONS

Financial Management Operations (FMO) is responsible for certifying, processing, reconciling, evaluating, and reporting all agency financial transactions; preparing the Department’s monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements and related notes and schedules; and coordinating the external audit of the agency’s financial statements.  The office is charged with ensuring the accuracy and timeliness of all agency financial data, establishing financial management policies and procedures, monitoring financial management systems, and ensuring the Department’s compliance with applicable laws and regulations.  FMO directs cash management activities within the agency and manages the Department’s accounts payable and accounts receivable portfolios.  The organization is the Department’s principal liaison to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and other regulatory and legislative entities in matters related to the agency’s financial accountability and required financial reporting; in this regard, FMO reviews and coordinates directives, other requirements, and initiatives from these organizations.  The office also maintains a Department-wide system of performance measures and produces and presents financial and grant performance data to agency officials, other Federal agencies, the public, and Congress.

The Director, FMO, reports to the Deputy CFO and provides overall leadership. There are two Deputies who will provide day-to-day oversight and coordination of the five groups listed below.

General Accounting Group

The General Accounting Group is responsible for all grant and administrative program accounting activities, including production of related budgetary/proprietary financial reports for the U.S. Treasury, OMB, and other government agencies.  The Group also performs Departmental program, grant, and administrative account reconciliations and ensures that proper accounting policies and procedures are established and implemented.  In addition, the Group maintains the Continuous Controls Monitoring Software (CCMS) application to identify and prevent improper payments.  

In carrying out its responsibilities, the Group:

  • Maintains official accounting records of all grant and administrative funds; prepares trial balances and fluctuation analyses for these funds, and researches and resolves variances; and supports preparation of all official financial reports for the Department’s grant and administrative appropriations, including SF 224 Reports to the U.S. Treasury that report outlays by appropriation.
  • Advises operating grant and administrative program managers and their system staffs in maintaining accounting subsystem records.
  • Reconciles the G5 payment system to the general ledger and documents and resolves discrepancies and submits them to FMO management.
  • Promotes improvements in financial management operational performance by all Principal Offices and Executive Officers by leading the Financial Management Leadership (FML) meetings initiative.
  • Manages the CCMS application daily and analyzes results, including coordinating with program offices and OCIO to determine if an improper payment is about to occur or has occurred.
  • Produces vendor and recipient payment history reports and develops metrics to highlight unusual activity for further analysis.
  • Coordinates the Cash Management Improvement Act of 1990 within the Department and with Treasury to ensure efficiency, and equity in the exchange of funds and more timely use of funds and return of interest between the Federal Government and states.
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Bank Change & Receivables Group

The Bank Change & Receivables Group is responsible for processing recipient bank change requests and receipts on administrative accounts receivable consistent with sound internal controls.  The group is also responsible for ensuring that supporting documentation is filed in a timely manner and that records management requirements and archiving protocols are observed.  In addition, the group shall adhere to reporting, reconciliation and discrepancy resolution due dates based on FMO management approved deadlines.

In carrying out its responsibilities, the Group:

  • Maintains the G5 Banking Financial Information System (BFIS) for financial institution recipient depositor account information, ensuring that all recipient payments can be processed electronically through ACH or FEDWIRE.
  • Ensures that each request for an update in banking information is fully documented, controlled, properly stored and accessible upon request.
  • Establishes Accounts Receivables, posts cash collections and develops monthly Accounts Receivable accruals.
  • Reconciles Accounts Receivable Trial Balances (FMSS sub-ledger) and Nortridge Loan System promissory notes to the general ledger.  Researches, documents and resolves discrepancies.
  • Researches and resolves miscellaneous receipt revenue/contra-revenue activity
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Credit Reform Group

The Credit Reform Group is responsible for all loan program accounting activities; assisting in the preparation/coordination of all official loan program financial reports with Federal Student Aid (FSA) and Budget Service to be submitted to Treasury, OMB, and other government agencies; ensuring that all needed high level loan account reconciliations are being performed; assisting in the production of related financial reports to the U.S. Treasury, OMB, and other government agencies; and for preparing budgetary/proprietary reports for all loan appropriations.  The Group is responsible for ensuring that proper accounting policies and procedures are established and implemented throughout the Department. 

In carrying out its responsibilities, the Group:

  • Maintains official summary accounting records of all loan funds.
  • Interfaces with FSA and Budget Service staff on all loan accounting matters.
  • Prepares high level loan fluctuation analyses of the loan trial balances, and in conjunction with FSA and Budget Service, researches and resolves variances.
  • Assists in the preparation of all monthly, quarterly, and annual official financial reports for the Department’s loan appropriations.
  • Assists in the preparation and analysis of SF 224 Reports to the U.S. Treasury that report outlays by appropriation.
  • Prepares and analyzes the quarterly cohort analysis in conjunction with FSA and Budget Service.
  • Maintains, analyzes, and runs the Department’s Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Splitter Process.
  • Prepares the monthly Credit Reform Report Package for distribution to ED Managers.
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Debt & Payment Management Group

The Debt & Payment Management Group is responsible for all debt management and accounts payable related policies for the Department except those related to the Interagency Payment and Collection (IPAC) process, including policies related to financial management systems, internal controls, reconciliations, and reporting.  The Group is also responsible for administering payments associated with the agency’s purchase card program. In addition, the group is responsible for coordinating the Department’s Prompt Payment Act compliance initiatives.

In carrying out its responsibilities, the Group:

  • Meets with financial representatives from educational institutions to negotiate debt repayment terms, refers delinquent debts to private debt collection contractors/Treasury, and writes off uncollectable debts.
  • Coordinates with Program Offices and OGC on reimbursement funding and offsetting of delinquent debts.
  • Manages the Department’s administrative receivable and promissory note portfolio.
  • Coordinates the Prompt Payment Act requirements to ensure timely payments to vendors.
  • Reconciles Accounts Payable Trial Balances (APTB sub-ledger) to the general ledger and performs analysis of payable proprietary/budgetary relationships by fund/sector.  Discrepancies are researched, documented and resolved.
  • Manages the purchase card reconciliation and payment function, ensuring accurate and timely payments to the Department’s purchase card vendor and excellent customer service to the Department’s cardholders.
  • Generates Open Purchase Order reports in AP_PO system, reviews reports for missing trading partner codes, misclassified government vendors and anomalies.

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Accountability & Financial Reporting Group

The Accountability & Financial Reporting Group is responsible for Department-wide performance reporting, including compliance with applicable OMB circulars and related guidance, and the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRMA), as well as preparing the Department’s financial statements and Agency Financial Report; completing monthly Fund Balance with Treasury reconciliation; and producing other official financial reports. The Group is also responsible for managing the intragovernmental accounting function, and administering payments associated with the Department’s IPAC process. In addition, the Group coordinates the annual financial statement audit, including oversight of the annual Prepared-by-Client (PBC) process. Further, the Group collects, analyzes, and distributes grant award and performance data to support policy development and informs management decisions affecting the Department’s discretionary and formula grant programs, and is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the implementation of regulations for the protection of human subjects in research projects.

In carrying out its responsibilities, the Group:

  • Prepares the Department’s Annual Performance Report and Summary of Performance and Financial Information in compliance with applicable OMB requirements.
  • Coordinates with Department offices in supporting the Department’s annual performance planning cycle, ensuring compliance with the GPRMA, OMB Circular A-11, OMB Circular A-136, and related guidance from OMB and GAO.
  • Ensures that the agency’s planning and reporting policies, procedures and systems conform to legislative requirements, established Department goals, and Executive Branch regulations and procedures; and provides technical assistance to Program Offices to develop and maintain action plans and performance measures for implementing Department, Office, and program strategic goals.
  • Produces the Department’s and FSA’s monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements, and footnotes – when applicable.
  • Prepares the Department’s Agency Financial Report in compliance with applicable OMB requirements.
  • Administers the CheckFree system that is used to prepare the Fund Balance with Treasury (FBWT) reconciliation and reporting, and maintains the FBWT reconciliation.
  • Maintains the FACTS II reporting process with reports quarterly and also for the months of July, August, and November, including year-end annual certification of funds.  This process is scheduled to become the GTAS process in December 2013.
  • Maintains the Department’s FACTS I reporting process and the preparation of the annual special-purpose financial statements and accompanying notes contained in the special-purpose closing package, which is used by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in the preparation of the Financial Report of the U.S. Government.
  • Manages intragovernmental accounting function, including submission of quarterly data files and corresponding reports to Treasury, and coordination with trading partners to resolve any differences in amounts reported.
  • Manages the IPAC process, ensuring accurate and timely application of interagency funds to proper funds, ensures that all unmatched transactions are classified according to trading partner code, and acts as liaison between the Department and other agency trading partners for IPAC payments.
  • Coordinates the external audit of the Department’s annual financial statements and provides related guidance, counsel and support to the Department’s senior management; manages the submission of PBC items; and serves as liaison between the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the Department’s external auditor, Budget Service, FSA, and other stakeholders regarding audit and assurance related issues.
  • Manages completion and distribution of discretionary grant award status and other performance reports to inform management decision-making.
  • Coordinates the Department’s administration of the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research (34 CFR 97).

Performs human subject reviews of grant applications and contracts for compliance with Common Rule, including coordination with program offices and grantees, as needed.

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Last Modified: 01/31/2014