1. DFAS Home
  2. Pressroom
  3. Agency Overview

The people of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) take pride in serving the men and women who defend America. We take our contribution to national defense seriously. We work hard to fulfill the important fiscal responsibilities entrusted to us by the American taxpayers. We ensure the resources they provide are accounted for properly. In FY 2013, DFAS:
  • Processed 161.8 million pay transactions (6.6 million people/accounts)
  • Made 6 million travel payments
  • Paid 10.3 million commercial invoices
  • Maintained 270.4 million General Ledger accounts
  • Managed $700 billion in Military Retirement and Health Benefits Funds
  • Made $579 billion in disbursements
  • Managed $403 billion in Foreign Military Sales (reimbursed by foreign governments)
  • Accounted for 1,232 active DoD appropriations

A brief look at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service

In 1991, the Secretary of Defense created the Defense Finance and Accounting Service to standardize, consolidate, and improve accounting and financial functions throughout the DoD. The intent was to reduce the cost of the Department's finance and accounting operations while strengthening its financial management.

DFAS pays all DoD military and civilian personnel, retirees and annuitants, as well as major DoD contractors and vendors. DFAS also supports customers outside the DoD in support of electronic government initiatives. The new customers include the Executive Office of the President, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

Since its inception, the agency has consolidated more than 300 installation-level offices into nine DFAS sites and reduced the number of systems in use from 330 to 111. As a result of BRAC efforts begun in FY 2006, DFAS has closed 20 sites, realigned headquarters from Arlington to Indianapolis and established a liaison location in Alexandria, Virginia.

DFAS is financed as a Working Capital Fund, obtaining revenue by charging its customers for the services it provides rather than being funded through direct appropriations. The agency sets annual rates two years in advance based on anticipated workload and estimated costs calculated to offset any prior year gains or losses. DFAS operations are subject to oversight by DoD as well as the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.

DFAS has steadily reduced operating costs and has returned those savings to its customers in the form of decreased bills and improved service. These savings are a result of the agency's robust search for continuous innovation and enhanced business practices. DFAS remains the world's largest finance and accounting operation.

Our mission…our vision
The DFAS leadership and workforce is dedicated to achieving the agency’s vital mission every day:

  "Lead DoD in finance and accounting by ensuring the delivery of efficient, exceptional quality pay and financial information."
To accomplish this and to guide our way to the future, the agency has adopted a vision that challenges us to build upon past accomplishments to reach higher:
"To be a recognized leader in DoD's financial management by consistently delivering first-class service and products."

Our workforce
Our focus is on the warfighters and everything we do to support them. This demands a highly talented and professional workforce.

The DFAS core values form the essential character of each individual within the agency. They are the guiding principles for each plan, project or action. These are the beliefs that must be a part of everything we do, have withstood the test of time, and will see us into the future. They are the foundation of the trust our customers have given us, the sense of partnership we hold for each person or organization we support, and the notion that, whatever our past accomplishments may be, they serve only as milestones to even greater successes.

Integrity: Doing what is right

  • Accountability
  • Dependability and commitment
  • Rewards linked to performance 
Service: Striving to be a trusted financial partner
  • Collaboration within and across governmental organizations
  • Commitment to financial stewardship
  • Timely and accurate information
  • World-class performance
Innovation: Applying creativity to increase value to DoD
  • State-of-the-art technology to become a trusted financial partner
  • Advanced enterprise systems
  • Business intelligence
Page updated Jan. 21, 2014