The Frenzied Finale
The Frenzied Finale
Maintain your composure as the fiscal year winds down. Despite the best-laid plans and promises from management and users alike to avoid last-minute panic spending, here it comes: the onslaught of requisitions and major projects that must be processed in the last three months of the fiscal year.
The buying spree happens for any number of reasons. Money becomes available at the last minute for various reasons beyond our control. Or there’s been late preparation, and that’s meant late approval of projects that could have been in the works earlier. Or—let’s get real here—effective procurement all year long has resulted in cost reductions, and no one wants to return those unused funds. Or the finance types have come up with the bright idea that all contracts should end on the last day of the old fiscal year and begin on the first day of the new fiscal year. I guess that would be okay if all our customers’ needs conveniently ended and began precisely at the end and beginning of each fiscal year!
We could give in to our frustration and spend our limited time and resources playing “Shoulda–Woulda–Coulda.” We could give up and quit, or we could give it our all to get the job done. Most professionals make the latter choice, not because they have to, but because they want to. A fundamental tenet of professionalism is the pursuit of excellence, in spite of our imperfect humanity and the reality of imperfect government.
I would like to share something I’ve used as a personal and professional touchstone when things get out of hand. It’s a piece called “Anyway,” and it goes like this:
“People can be unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered, but you’ve got to love them anyway. If you do good, some people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives, so do good anyway. If you are successful, you often win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway. What you have spent years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway. People really need help but may attack you when you help them. Help people anyway. Give the world the best you have. You may get kicked in the teeth, but give the world the best you’ve got anyway.” —Mother Theresa
The fiscal year-end frenzy is part of government procurement—no matter how much we plan, train our users, and accomplish good procurement practices. How well the year ends depends on you.
Bottom line: Have a professional fiscal year end.
Editor’s Note: Beau Grant, CPPO, is a Master Instructor for the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) and President of Beau-Geste Enterprises. Readers can reach Grant by e-mail at: Grantbge@aol.com.