While the Fiscal New Year starts on October 1, the continuing resolution delays the full appropriations deadline until November. Agency financial professionals are used to the challenges associated with these resolutions, but Jim Taylor, Managing Director at Grant Thornton and former CFO at the Department of Labor, says that with growing budgets and complex programs, they’re becoming a big problem.
“For the first time in the last few years, budget uncertainty has become a concern. In the past, they just said we can make do, but now it’s not just the CR, it is the lack of the ability to plan. There’s no long-term thinking. It’s the fact that two-thirds of the $4 trillion budget aren’t even appropriated, they’re mandatory programs.” Taylor said. “We had an omnibus, and we had a shutdown for 35 days that affected 20 agencies. It creates a real imbalance in delivery of services by the federal government and It creates an inability to plan. CFOs now are trying to get that portion of the money at last year’s levels. If you have new programs you can’t do anything.”