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A farewell to Financial Reporting Great: Hal Steinberg

Harold “Hal” Steinberg, one of the most influential people in the world of government financial management and performance died on October 25th at 86.

We met Hal many years ago, just as we were beginning to find our way around the world of performance measurement. He was a gracious guide to us, and as the years passed, we were honored when he called on us to review some of the reports he was working on.

We were first introduced to Hal by a long-time friend and colleague, Jay Fountain, now director of OPM in Stamford Connecticut, who had been friends with Hal for 48 years. Here’s what Jay told us about his loss: “Hal was always on the forefront of trying to improve the quality of financial reporting for state local and federal government. He was a gracious friend, as well as a dedicated public servant and continued his work while others retired. His insights and leadership will be sorely missed.”

A little history (the full history of Hal’s accomplishments would be far, far more lengthy): In 1961, he joined Peat Marwick and Mitchell (now KPMG) and he later became head of both KPMG's state and local government price and then its federal government practice.

In 1981, Hal joined President Ronald Reagan’s administration as Associate Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget.

While there, his accomplishments were more than impressive: He established the Inspector General Program and implemented the single audit and the CFO Act of 1990.

He also served for a decade on the Federal Accounting Standards Board and was instrumental in forming the Certified Government Financial Manager and Certificate of Excellence for Accountability Reporting programs at the Association of Government Accountants.

Though we haven’t spoken with Hal for a couple of years or so, our memories of his intellect and acute wisdom are strong and vital.

Donations in Hal's memory can be made to Hal Steinberg Memorial Fund c/o Association of Government Accountants 2208 Mt. Vernon Ave. Alexandria, VA 22301-1314


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