The mission of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) is to lead the Department of Defense (DoD) in finance and accounting by ensuring the delivery of efficient, exceptional quality pay and financial information. The Secretary of Defense created DFAS in 1991 to strengthen financial management throughout the Department by standardizing, consolidating, and improving accounting and financial functions. The DFAS vision is "To be a recognized leader in DoD's financial management by consistently delivering first-class service and products."
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 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 Broadcasting Board of Governors.
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. DFAS remains the world's largest finance and accounting operation.