Process in place to ensure future audit readiness
January 2, 2013
The Army Contracting Command's Deputy Chief of Staff Resource Management G8 has been designated as the lead for the command's Army audit readiness efforts and will implement command-wide standard practices to ensure successful audit readiness testing.
"In addition to the G8, subordinate Internal Review and Compliance offices within the command will also play a major role in this coordinated effort," said Belinda Gemme, DCS, Resource Management G8.
Edward Thomas, a senior accountant in the resource management directorate, is spearheading the effort.
"Action plans and timelines are under development," Gemme said. "We're also forming the Headquarters ACC lead work groups for the business processes related to the statement of budgetary resources. While some of the work groups will be focused primarily on our internal resourcing business processes, such as Defense Travel System, other work groups will cross both internal business processes and the larger contracting mission business processes, such as government purchase card."
According to Thomas, the Army's first financial statement will focus on the statement of budgetary resources in 11 process areas including contracts, temporary duty travel, civilian payroll and the government purchase card.
To accomplish the task, Thomas said work groups formed from functional area subject matter experts created an action plan. The plan outlines the process methodology, maps current process flows, and identifies process gaps to fix and implement improvement opportunities.
"Audit readiness is not just a onetime event," Gemme continued. "As an Army entity and a part of the federal government's bigger plan to be better financial stewards over public funds, I would say to look at this as the first stage of an on-going process.
"DoD established the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness Plan for improving financial processes, controls and information," she said.
One of the main building blocks within the audit readiness process is the General Fund Enterprise
Business System. GFEBS is a webenabled system that allows the Army to share financial data across the service.
"It's an integrated financial system that feeds off of various Army processes and programs that touch financial information," Thomas said "GFEBS is the backbone for audit readiness and its success is contingent upon full collaboration from the financial community as well as other stakeholders including contracting operations, human resources, logistics and information technology.
Due to the nature of this effort, Thomas said ACC members can anticipate receiving information on audit readiness through several channels and that it will be a part of internal control plans "Implementation of GFEBS has changed how we conduct many of our business processes and we must adjust," Thomas said.
"Preparing for a clean audit provides an opportunity to deliberately develop, document and implement these changes," he said. "Everything is important to success, even something as trivial as filing timely and accurate travel vouchers has an impact on audit readiness."