The people of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service 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 fiscal 2020, DFAS:
- Processed 137.3 million pay transactions (6.6 million people/accounts)
- Made 4.3 million travel payments
- Paid 12.4 million commercial invoices
- Maintained 98 million General Ledger accounts
- Managed $1.27 trillion in Military Retirement and Health Benefits Funds
- Made $623.3 billion in disbursements
- Managed $619.7 billion in Foreign Military Sales (reimbursed by foreign governments)
- Accounted for 1,379 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. Customers include the Executive Office of the President, the Department of Energy, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Agency for Global Media.
Since its inception, the agency has consolidated more than 300 installation-level offices into 10 DFAS sites and reduced the number of systems in use from 330 to 70. 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.
Our mission is to "lead our customers in finance and accounting by ensuring the delivery of efficient, exceptional quality pay and financial information."
As one of the world’s largest finance and accounting operations, DFAS supports military and civilian customers. Our mission emphasizes the importance of DFAS’ role as a primary contributor in standardizing and improving finance and accounting activities across the DoD. Our strategy supports our efforts to provide superior services to our customers now and in the future.
Our vision is "to be a recognized leader in financial management by consistently delivering first-class service and products."
Our vision captures what we must be in the future to meet our customers’ needs. Our customers continue to adapt to rapid changes in their mission requirements. At the same time, the Department is focused on business efficiency to be able to invest in the operational readiness of our military in a resource-constrained environment. To best serve our customers, we must partner to provide leadership in all aspects of financial management. We will help our customers make cost-effective decisions, implement technology solutions, and achieve audit steadiness.
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
We strive to maintain integrity in everything we do. This means providing dependable support to our customers and interacting with character and honesty. We emphasize doing what is right in all circumstances, whether seen or unseen.
Service: Remain a trusted financial partner
We are constantly aware of and dedicated to our role in serving our nation and the warfighter. We must understand our customers and have an unflinching commitment to their needs.
Innovation: Creating better ways to do business
We cannot rely on current practices to provide the highest quality service and products in the future. We recognize we must encourage creative approaches and solutions as a part of our culture.
Page updated November 19, 2020