From May 28 through June 1, 2018, the American Society of Military Comptrollers held its annual Professional Development Institute (PDI) and Pre-PDI workshops at Denver’s Colorado Convention Center. This year’s theme was Achieving Peak Performance. The program included a plenary session—opened by the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer, the Honorable David Norquist—courses, and workshops focused on defense financial management competency areas. PDI also included a Service Day, held on May 30, with service/agency-specific sessions for the Navy, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, and Fourth Estate agencies.
Courses allowed participants to obtain CPE credit toward Department of Defense (DoD) Financial Management certification; sessions of participants’ choosing provided a comprehensive overview of the current financial management landscape; and the conference overall provided prime networking opportunities with comptrollers from various agencies and participants from contracting consulting firms.
The conference’s prevalent message was that all divisions and communities across DoD must become audit ready, since it is incumbent upon both the financial and functional communities to ensure sound resource management and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars. As such, the majority of offerings centered around audit-related topics, such as internal controls, preparing for audit, and working to successfully remediate audit findings.
An informative and invaluable session for me involved roundtable discussions hosted by the Navy’s Office of Financial Operations (FMO), during which subject matter experts shared audit readiness best practices and lessons learned and provided a forum for question and answers. Another educational session entailed a technical update on pending system enhancements to streamline the reimbursable work order business process by integrating financial and technical execution. In addition, I was able to connect with former clients and team members also in attendance.
MorganFranklin had a team in the Exhibit Hall, where they could network with current and potential clients. Other exhibitors included additional consulting companies, software developers, and benefit providers. Exhibitors allowed federal agencies to obtain a better understanding of private sector offerings available to support their mission. At the MorganFranklin booth, we focused on audit readiness services and agile solutions, including risk management, business process optimization, data analytics, and organizational design and transformation to address the variety of challenges facing DoD today.
Prior to the official event, the conference hosted a number of special events on Tuesday, May 29, including a Colorado Rockies baseball game, a downtown Denver scavenger hunt, a U.S. Denver Mint tour, and a community service project assisting Angels of America’s Fallen—a nonprofit that encourages children of fallen service members to participate in healing developmental activities such as sports, music, and arts as outlets for their grief.
During the conference, we asked over 150 attendees who stopped by our booth to complete a short survey. This is what they had to say: