Understanding how organs acquire the capacity to perform their respective functions is important for both cell and developmental biology. Here, we have examined the role of early-expressed transcription factors in activating genes crucial for secretory function in the Drosophila salivary gland. We show that expression of genes encoding proteins required for ER targeting and translocation, and proteins that mediate transport between the ER and Golgi is very high in the early salivary gland. This high level expression requires two early salivary gland transcription factors; CrebA is required throughout embryogenesis and Fkh is required only during late embryonic stages. As Fkh is required to maintain late CrebA expression in the salivary gland, Fkh probably works through CrebA to affect secretory pathway gene expression. In support of these regulatory interactions, we show that CrebA is important for elevated secretion in the salivary gland. Additionally, CrebA is required for the expression of the secretory pathway genes in the embryonic epidermis, where CrebA had previously been shown to be essential for cuticle development. We show that zygotic mutations in several individual secretory pathway genes result in larval cuticle phenotypes nearly identical to those of CrebA mutants. Thus, CrebA activity is linked to secretory function in multiple tissues.