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Office of Financial Management

Policy and Compliance Branch

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​​​​​Policy & Compliance Branch

The Policy and Compliance Branch is responsible for developing Financial Management Policy that complies with FASAB, OMB, Treasury, and HHS guidelines and promotes best practices.  The branch also provides advice and consultation to other offices in NIH and HHS on financial management policy and execution matters to ensure compliance with applicable federal standards and to appropriate support for mission objectives.

NIH Financial Policy Hierarchy

NIH follows the generally accepted principles (GAAP) hierarchy established by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) for federal reporting entities.  The GAAP hierarchy consists of the sources of accounting principles and the framework for selecting the principles used in the preparation of general purpose financial reports of federal reporting entities that are presented in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.

The hierarchy established by FASAB and the sources of accounting principles that are generally accepted are categorized in descending order of authority are as follows:

  1. Officially established accounting principles consist of FASAB Statements of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (Standards) and Interpretations.  FASAB Standards and Interpretations will be periodically incorporated in a publication by the FASAB.
  2. FASAB Technical Bulletins and, if specifically made applicable to federal reporting entities by the AICPA and cleared by the FASAB, AICPA Industry Audit and Accounting Guides.
  3. Technical Releases of the Accounting and Auditing Policy Committee of the FASAB.
  4. Implementation guides published by the FASAB staff, as well as practices that are widely recognized and prevalent in the federal government.

After the FASAB hierarchy NIH adheres to principles and policies in the following order of importance:

  1. Other government policies - OMB, Treasury, GAO, etc.
  2. HHS accounting principles - HHS accounting policies are note established by FASAB as part of GAAP by they have been developed in accordance with GAAP and other government policies.  HHS accounting policies document how the various policies apply at the HHS.
  3. NIH specific policies - NIH accounting policies are not established by FASAB as part of GAAP but they have been developed in accordance with GAAP, other government policies, and HHS accounting policies. NIH accounting policies document how various policies apply at the NIH level.

Links to External Federal Financial Management Policy Sites

Office of Management and Budget

Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board

Bureau of Fiscal Service, Treasury

HHS Financial Management Directives & Guidance




Contact Us

Policy and Compliance Branch
Mingfei Zhang, Branch Chief

National Institutes of Health,
Office of Financial Management
6701 Rockledge Drive, 3rd Floor
Bethesda, MD 20892-7784

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