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Are ther any Financial Managers here (job code 36)?

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Snoopy447
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Are ther any Financial Managers here (job code 36)?

Postby Snoopy447 Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:36 am

Where are the Financial Officers (job code 36)?

I have a new favorite Army webpage:

Army Financial Management
http://www.asafm.army.mil/

The information is limited for what I’m interested in finding though.

What I'm trying to do is find information on what one did to become a Financial Manager and what they do, and where they do it.

I’m posting this tread because my efforts to do a Forum search on “financial manager” turn up nothing related to those that actually serve as financial managers, or any application processes for financial managers or technicians.

I'm approaching the Reserves in hopes of getting a Direct Commission using my financial credentials and experience, and I’m trying to be proactive in finding a place where my application has the best chance of finding someone interested in what I bring to the table.

If the Army wanted me to serve as an instructor relating to financial course topics I’m in a perfect position for that as I’m in a reasonable driving distance to the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA, and I found a number of Financial Courses that are given there (non of which are out of my reach for having command over the subject matter), but I also assume such courses are just as easily taught by civilian instructors. So it wouldn't surprise me if the Army isn’t interested in me as an instructor for financial topics.

If the instructional path isn’t available I am wondering what the duties of a financial manager are at a military unit level. Where are financial managers placed in the Army and serve in a Reserve function (if at all)?

Based on the Army Financial Management website I’m only seeing high level strategic financial planning and management. I’m not seeing how the Army rolls up its financial needs at the lower levels.

Thanks,
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Postby Lionheart Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:26 pm

1. If you've never worked GOVERNMENT financial issues, then you most definitely don't have a command over the subject matter. This is not the same finance you deal with in the private sector.

2. If you want to teach, you'll have to find a civilian position, but if it's NPS you're looking at, ref #1.

3. Strategic level isn't what you think it is. What you're seeing is higher level and command finance, not strategic. Finance issues at lower echelons (BDE and below) is handled primarily by NCOs trained as resource managers. They have some rudimentary bookkeeping skills and a host of binders on their credenzas. Finance Officers generally work at a higher echelon than this.

4. There are a few Reserve Finance companies who are responsible for manning the finance offices on FOBs in Iraq. You couldn't pay me enough to do that job, but if you're interested VooDoo94 can probably point you in that direction.
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Postby Voodoo94 Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:52 pm

I'm not too familiar with what RC Finance units do. I just know that the USAR has some and most states' Army National Guards have a Finance Detachment or two (like NY):

http://dmna.state.ny.us/facilities/unit ... Detachment

http://dmna.state.ny.us/facilities/unit ... ce+Company
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Postby Jonesey Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:02 pm

Finance is a...strange...branch. In California, the National Guard has the 40th Finance Battalion in Compton. The USAR has the 326th Finance Group in Orange County.

There's not a lot in Monterey County other than Civil Affairs.
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Postby Snoopy447 Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:48 pm

Finance is deceptive subject matter.

For those of you looking into the profession, training and education is finite and absolute. It’s elegant and logical. Every thing you are trained to do is wrapped up with a pretty bow on top.

In the real world data is imperfect, compiled financial performance is less than ideal, and when presenting unfavorable results to supervisors it just ends up being a numbers game and a test to see how far reporting rules can be pushed to alter reported results in the best possible light in face of reality.

And that’s only from a civilian perspective

It starting to be clear (based on my research, and recruiter conversations) a direct commission in finance would be unlikely. So I’m pursuing the open ended OCS option.
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Postby Lionheart Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:52 pm

Snoopy447 wrote:Finance is deceptive subject matter.

For those of you looking into the profession, training and education is finite and absolute. It’s elegant and logical. Every thing you are trained to do is wrapped up with a pretty bow on top.

In the real world data is imperfect, compiled financial performance is less than ideal, and when presenting unfavorable results to supervisors it just ends up being a numbers game and a test to see how far reporting rules can be pushed to alter reported results in the best possible light in face of reality.

And that’s only from a civilian perspective

It starting to be clear (based on my research, and recruiter conversations) a direct commission in finance would be unlikely. So I’m pursuing the open ended OCS option.


And again, that's nothing like what government finance officers do.
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Postby Snoopy447 Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:43 pm

Queso wrote:And again, that's nothing like what government finance officers do.


I am curious (I suppose I could find a text book).

How does government bookkeeping account for Owner’s Equity?

Assets = Liabilities + Owner’s Equity

OE is essentially the part of an economic entity that is owned by the shareholders. In this case the US Government and its citizens.

So in the imaginary world of economic surpluses where OE increases (i.e. more income cash flows are generated than expense out flows) I imagine it’s not as straight forward as increasing equity. On paper, I imagine the US Government is astronomically leveraged.

Then the Army isn’t a revenue generating entity. The IRS is really the revenue generating entity of the US Government. So from all the armed services point of view, finance is just accounting for a big pile of money and getting done what they said they would get done, and entirely absent of any profitability. The focus would seem to be reporting it accurately.

Anyone care to discuss? Just being curious.

I’m assuming there isn’t a balance sheet out there that has the US Government’s Net Worth Ratio in a Financially Reported format. Campaigning politicians would go nuts for that sort of thing.

What I really hate about much of the government numbers I see in the media and as much of it is reported as it pertains to the cost of war, or certain operations are the SOFT COSTS.

I’m assuming there are a great many costs associated with military operations that would be incurred regardless of any military action (base salary for instance of all permanent military personnel during times of war and PEACE).
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Postby dpar Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:03 pm

Actually the Army is went public last year and is traded under the symbol ARMY on the NYSE.

Seriously though. Your talk reminds me of the information I barely understood in Finance and Financial Management classes. I'm surprised I made it through, but that is besides the point.

Not a lot of Ratios being reported or tracked by Soldiers. No one near our level cares what a PE is let alone track the info and leverage is what you don't have in dealing with your assignment manager

We do have a Comptroller functional area that you can get into after a few years in the Army that may be closer to what you are looking for.

Jumping into OCS and competing for a branch is probably the most likely avenue.

By the way. Whatever technical or subject matter experience you have does not mean you know how to be an officer in the Army. Therefore, you're not going to find much support for a direct commission coming from us.

Good luck. It looks like you have some decisions to make.
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Difference in Regular Business and Gov Accounting

Postby swalker Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:34 pm

To Snoopy447,

You ask some very interesting questions, and let me begin by letting you know that I too am educated and experienced in finance and accounting. I hold a BS in Accounting.

First off, do not get confused with the accounting equation A=L+SE. This equation is the backbone of a business; however, governments and non-profit agencies are not regular businesses. The mission of the government is completely different than the mission of a business - in that the government is not trying to earn a profit. Businesses are able to do cash or accrual accounting, while the government does "fund" accounting. The government establishes the level of services that they will provide, calculate their cost, and then set tax rates and other fees to generate the revenues required to pay for them.

Secondly, it is my understanding (according to Milper 10-164) that USAREC no longer accepts Direct Commission.

Third, you will be required to compete for your desired branch, just like the rest of the OCS candidates...according to the OML. Do not count on being branch Finance unless you are within the top 5% of your OCS class - given the Army even has any slots available to fill.

Fourth, if you do succeed in branching Finance, you will not be handling the financial statements of the Army. As a LT, you will only be required to receive and disburse government funds, manage petty cash, manage and implement internal controls, remain in compliance with GAAP, and supervise personnel. Most of the hard core accounting is handled be MAJ and above, or by civilians.

Hope this helps!
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No

Postby Mktennis Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:46 am

Third, you will be required to compete for your desired branch, just like the rest of the OCS candidates...according to the OML. Do not count on being branch Finance unless you are within the top 5% of your OCS class - given the Army even has any slots available to fill.


This is wrong. As a potential Reservist you don't need to worry about the OML. In the USAR you will compete for nothing; you know your branch, and usually your exact role in the unit long before you ship. The Reservists compete on the OML for DMG/Honor Grad purposes alone.
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correction

Postby swalker Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:42 pm

Ok Mktennis. Thanks for the information! I was under the impression that everyone at OCS now has to compete for their branch. Thanks for the clarification!
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Postby JoshSulak Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:29 pm

I am Finance officer in Moffett Field California. I am in a unique position doing internal review working for the 2 star commander directly. Usually this is not a position for 2LT, but myself and my team have experience and education in Finance. (More importantly they needed bodies so we got the job) Basically we ensure the money in our 7 state region is being used properly.

Most Finance officers are Budget analyst, Resource Managers, or Budget Officers. This GS-560 in the civilian service sector. Read the job descriptions of GS 9-15 and this may give you and idea of the KSA's of a typical 36A.
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Re: correction

Postby Snoopy447 Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:10 pm

Thanks for the replies. I responded to one of your PMs already.

I'm on the very initial stages of this DC process. I’m only taking the ASVAB today for the first time, and turned in my application paperwork last week.

I have a lot to consider and evaluate where I want to direct my life. I’m currently in a high level financial job. So to quit that and be a 2nd Lt overseeing petty cash seems rather counter intuitive.

I wouldn’t be doing this to “develop” myself in my current profession. It was my intent to provide myself to the Army as a resource to leverage my current development.

I’m just trying to do more with my life before it all completely passes me by, and I’m basically almost out of time before I’m stuck with the direction I’ve chosen.

I already put myself through a police academy, but just as I graduated the economy collapsed, and no one is hiring police officers. I’m even getting bumped for Reserve Police positions because former full timers that got laid off are now scrounging around as well.

Hence, enter the army reserves. Finance or not, I’ll evaluate the options open to me as I go through this process further and further.
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Postby aamerica1207 Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:20 pm

You might not be dealing with petty cash, I know I am not as I have approx $20 million between my vault and whats in my bank account. But then again, some people might consider that petty cash.
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Re: correction

Postby scjohnny Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:45 pm

Snoopy447 wrote:
I’m currently in a high level financial job.

I already put myself through a police academy, but just as I graduated the economy collapsed, and no one is hiring police officers.


Man I'm confused.


So you are willing to go from a six figure salary (I'm guessing from your post) to something in the 40's starting?

But you are above being a "regular Finance Officer"?
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Re: correction

Postby Frailer Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:44 pm

Snoopy447 wrote:...

I have a lot to consider and evaluate where I want to direct my life. I’m currently in a high level financial job. So to quit that and be a 2nd Lt overseeing petty cash seems rather counter intuitive.

I wouldn’t be doing this to “develop” myself in my current profession. It was my intent to provide myself to the Army as a resource to leverage my current development.

I’m just trying to do more with my life before it all completely passes me by, and I’m basically almost out of time before I’m stuck with the direction I’ve chosen.

I already put myself through a police academy, but just as I graduated the economy collapsed, and no one is hiring police officers. I’m even getting bumped for Reserve Police positions because former full timers that got laid off are now scrounging around as well.

Hence, enter the army reserves. Finance or not, I’ll evaluate the options open to me as I go through this process further and further.


Pardon me for being blunt, but you might want to adjust your attitude just a bit; you seem to be all about you.

There are darned few individuals in this world whose talents are so unique that the Army "needs" them. You act as if you'd be doing the Army a favor by "providing yourself" to it. I'll let you in on a secret: there's more than enough talent in this organization already.

Another indicator: you put yourself through a police academy? Really? All by your lonesome?

If you don't think you "need development" then the Army's not the place for you. The "high level financial" world seems to be the perfect place for those who already know everything they need to know.
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Re: correction

Postby Snoopy447 Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:46 pm

scjohnny wrote:
Snoopy447 wrote:
Man I'm confused.



I'm confused too as to what I actually can and cannot do in the reserves.

I'm getting conflicting information between multiple recruiters, and conflicting information in forums such as this, and not entirely straight forward information through Army source websites.

So I just take it one day at a time and adjust accordingly.

If I'm going to do the finance route it makes most sense to do something that utilizes my professional development (dollars or not).

If I end up not utilizing my professional development then new options might be more interesting.

Income isn’t an issue because I can’t go Regular. So there is no loss of income. The Military will never be a means to support myself.

The great irony is my recruiter told me today the Reserves are only taking Prior Military applicants or Officer Candidates. I couldn’t go in the reserves enlisted even if I wanted too.

My only military options would be Enlist Regular, or go Reserve Officer. That’s it, but according to recruiters that changes frequently.

From what I can tell, I really don’t know what I can do in the reserves until I get far enough along the application process where commanders can take me seriously. Then they will tell the recruiters which jobs are open for direct commissions and if I fit the bill my application can continue with expectation of filling that position as a 2nd Lt.

Anyway, I scored my scored a 129 on my ASVAB today, and next I have to schedule a medical.

No disrespect towards anyone or the military. I’m trying to figure out what is out there because I know once I set a path I’m pretty much locked in and there’s no turning back.
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Ok

Postby Mktennis Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:53 pm

I'll make this easy:

You can go to OCS as a Reservist. You just need to get a unit to sponsor you, meet all minimum qualification, pass a board, and viola. Your recruiter is blowing smoke up your fourth point of contact. If there is a vacancy in a USAR unit, and that unit will sponsor you, you can have that vacancy. It can be any branch; the Army doesn't care what your background is for most branches (Medical, Law, and Religious aside).
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