In the late 1990s, the United States Air Force faced a major financial management challenge. Wing-level administrators knew that budgeted money was being spent on various activities and programs, but they could not effectively track the expenditures in a timely manner. It simply took too long to get a clear picture of how and where money was being spent.

Don Henney, the 11th Wing's comptroller and senior manager with 29 years of experience, was all too familiar with these budget and cost analysis difficulties. In 1999, he and other senior leaders were challenged to increase Air Force flying hours by 40 percent, at the same time providing hard, verifiable justification for any funding increase. "We had to squeeze every penny, and found it nearly impossible to get timely data out of our multitude of systems in order to properly track budget against expense," he remembers. "This made it very difficult to accurately track and project our flying hour costs in order to justify increased funding."

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