Key Federal Financial Management Terms

Below are some key Federal Financial Management Terms:

  • Authorization: Act of Congress that permits Federal programs or activities to exist and recommends funding levels.
  • Appropriation: Act of Congress to provide Federal agencies with budget authority to obligate government to future outlay of cash for a specific purposes and period of time. 
  • Commitment: An administrative reservation of funds by the financial controller or resource manager triggered by a procurement or purchase request.
  • Obligation: A legal reservation fo funds that binds government to future expenditure and outlay of cash from the Treasury triggered by the signing of a contract, travel order, credit card transaction, etc. 
  • Expenditure: Issuance of a payment disbursement by electronic funds transfer, check, etc. 
  • Outlay: Payment of cash from Treasury to vendor to liquidate a financial obligation.

 

These should be helpful in understanding the Federal

financial management processes. 

 

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Searching For Gold

This guy had some getup on in Fort Lauderdale on the toasty beach. 

He’s in the ocean dressed in a full wetsuit with a mask over his face, a hat on his head, and the headphones over his ears. 

He had a metal detector and wand looking for lost gold in the water right off the beach. 

But didn’t see him find a dime the whole time we were there. 

I can’t believe these guys can actually find enough jewelry on the beach to make this worth while. 

Back and forth with the wand…searching, searching.  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Cash Is King

This was a funny shirt this lady was wearing on the Metro. 


It mimics the Sweet ‘N Low artificial sweetener logo and says:

Fund R’ Low
Need a Sugar Daddy


This was one of those shirts that gets your attention. 


It’s different.  It plays off a familiar brand.  It bright pink, red, and blue and stands out.  And it could certainly have a sexual connotation.  


Anyway, this was a pretty bold shirt to wear into conservative Washington, D.C. 


But I guess wherever you go, fashion, sexuality, and cash is king. 😉


(Credit Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

What’s It Worth To You?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “What’s It Worth To You.”

Certainly, passion for being your best, determination to succeed, and even some healthy competition are important factors in driving our own success as well as societal progress, but when keeping up with that scorecard against others becomes the essence of your own self-worth then things have gone too far and way off course.


We each have our mission, strengths, challenges, and so forth. It’s okay in life, if someone else has more of something (money, friends, honor, whatever). Everyone has their own “basket in life” as my father taught me, “and you wouldn’t want to change baskets with anyone else.”


(Photo Credit: Andy Blumenthal)

Harassholes Y’all

Someone brought me a copy of this photo from their office. 


It says:

Stop Harassholes Y’all


Not bad. 


Harassment plus as*holes = Harassholes. 


Thank G-d, there are some very good people and managers out there.


But unfortunately not everyone is, and so there are also some real stinkin’ abusers too. 


These types of people should never be in power, since they misuse it!


They do not use the power they have been entrusted with to advance progress, and do good for the organization and its people, but rather they clumsily wield power for their own selfish, personal pleasures and vendettas–bullying and harassing others–and simply because they can.


Belittling others, making them feel stupid and worthless, and then going after them for whatever they want. 


Through intimidation, they keep others from talking…shhh! hush!


Emotional, verbal, and even physical abuse can be common. 


I remember one colleague telling me how their boss would literally throw things at them in their office while they had to sit there “taking it.”


Another has a boss that makes them do the stupidest, most trivial tasks–completely worthless stuff–just to prove a point…that they’re in charge. 


Marginalization, threats, bullying, abuse, harassment…it goes on and it shouldn’t!


In some cases, the harassholes are even protected from someone above.


Money, power, honor…more, more, more!


But G-d sees these people too and eventually cuts the bad ones down to size. 


My father used to say:

G-d does not let any tree grow into the heavens!


Eventually, I am pretty sure that harassholes end up getting some very BIG hemorrhoids or something from above that teaches them to use G-d’s gifts for the good, and to properly love, care, and empathize for other human beings–G-d’s children!


I never knew why hemorrhoids existed in this world, but there is a purpose to everything under the heavens. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Take Responsibility

I thought it was an interesting sign in the office.

Responsibility: At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure. And the sooner you realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start to be successful.  As long as you blame others for the reason you aren’t where you want to be, you will always be a failure.  – Erin Cummins


While I agree that we have to take responsibility for our lives and do the work hard to achieve success, at the same time, we obviously aren’t in control of everything. 


We have to play the hand we’re dealt in life and make the very best of it.  Whatever challenges that we have, they are there for us to learn from, grow from, and become better human beings from. 


Also, success means different things to different people–for some it’s money, power and honer; for others it’s physical fitness and dashing good looks; still some care more about travel, experiences, partying, and having a good time; and yet for others it’s about G-d, family, country, and good deeds.


Whatever we want to achieve requires dedication and hard work from our end, but also a generous dose of prayer and good fortune for “the stars to align.”  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Getting The Biggest Bang For The Buck

So I had the opportunity to sit in on a colleague teaching a class in Performance Improvement. 


One tool that I really liked from the class was the Impact-Effort Matrix. 


To determine project worth doing, the matrix has the:


Impacts (Vertical) – Improved customer satisfaction, quality, delivery time, etc.


Effort (Horizontal) – Money, Time, etc. 


The best bang for the buck are the projects in upper left (“Quick Wins”) that have a high impact or return for not a lot of effort. 


In contract, the projects that are the least desirable are in the lower right (“Thankless Tasks”) that have a low impact or return but come at a high cost or lot of effort. 


This is simple to do and understand and yet really helps to prioritize projects and find the best choices among them. 😉


(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)