Florida CFO to Solve Budget Crisis with Paper Clip Exchange

CFOs have a tough job. Oh sure maybe a select few get to globe-trot with the Fab Four to the likes of Davos but the lion-share of them have to deal with less sexy tasks like, say, saving money.

Or solve a state fiscal crisis! Enter Florida’s CFO, Alex Sink. Ms. Sink is taking cost saving initiatives to levels that the Big 4 either considered and found ridiculous (even for them) or will be implementing them in the near future.


Last year Ms. Sink had her staff count paper clips in order to reduce costs. No, seriously. “Her staff spent untold hours determining the Department of Financial Services has 537 pounds of paper clips, 37,601 binder clips and 17,425 pens.”

The staff that were found to hogging more than a reasonable amount of suppliers were fired on the spot. Okay, not really but yeah, staff were counting counting paper clips. Makes you glad to be working at public accounting, no?

The latest idea from the CFO of the FLA that is the creation of the “CFO Depot”. This will allow employees to swap supplies as needed, as opposed to rummaging through every drawer at the their desk. Presumably this will cut down on violence in the workplace and will save the state money. Ms. Sink is encouraging other state agencies to set up similar systems, as this may save the state $14 million.

Here’s the pitch:

CFOs have a tough job. Oh sure maybe a select few get to globe-trot with the Fab Four to the likes of Davos but the lion-share of them have to deal with less sexy tasks like, say, saving money.

Or solve a state fiscal crisis! Enter Florida’s CFO, Alex Sink. Ms. Sink is taking cost saving initiatives to levels that the Big 4 either considered and found ridiculous (even for them) or will be implementing them in the near future.


Last year Ms. Sink had her staff count paper clips in order to reduce costs. No, seriously. “Her staff spent untold hours determining the Department of Financial Services has 537 pounds of paper clips, 37,601 binder clips and 17,425 pens.”

The staff that were found to hogging more than a reasonable amount of suppliers were fired on the spot. Okay, not really but yeah, staff were counting counting paper clips. Makes you glad to be working at public accounting, no?

The latest idea from the CFO of the FLA that is the creation of the “CFO Depot”. This will allow employees to swap supplies as needed, as opposed to rummaging through every drawer at the their desk. Presumably this will cut down on violence in the workplace and will save the state money. Ms. Sink is encouraging other state agencies to set up similar systems, as this may save the state $14 million.

Here’s the pitch:

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

Related articles

Florida Governor Is Not Impressed with Deloitte’s Handiwork

“It was designed with all these different things, basically to fail, I think. This thing was a clunker, there’s no doubt about it.” — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said about the state’s unemployment claims website, CONNECT, which was built by Deloitte Consulting in 2013 when Rick Scott was Florida governor. The system has pretty much […]