The Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 (CFO Act), as the name implies, established the role of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) at federal agencies. However, it only formalized the role at specific agencies - known as the CFO Act Agencies. (Many other IT & management laws, such as FITARA only target these agencies as a result of this formal assignment of financial officer authority.) At agencies not covered by the CFO Act, including all smaller agencies, there still is almost always a CFO who is delegated authority by the administrator of that agency.

The CFO Act also divided The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) into management and budget sides officially, in the process creating the position of the Deputy Director for Management, and establishing The Office of Federal Financial Management (OFFM).

The Accountability of Tax Dollars Act of 2002 expanded the financial reporting requirements of the CFO Act to all Executive Agencies except Government Corporations. As amended, this requires agencies to create formal processes for financial management & reporting.