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Federal Accounting and Reporting: Framework for Assessing the Reliability of Budget Execution Data Is Not Yet Fully Implemented

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In the fiscal year 1999 and prior-year audits of the U. S. governments financial statements, the General Accounting Office GAO has reported that certain significant financial systems weaknesses, problems with fundamental recordkeeping, incomplete documentation, and weak internal controls, including computer controls, have prevented the government from accurately reporting a large portion of its assets, liabilities, and costs. GAO has have reported that these deficiencies affect the reliability of the agencies financial statements and much of the underlying financial information. These deficiencies also affect the governments ability to accurately measure the full cost and financial performance of programs and assets, effectively and efficiently manage its operations, and ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Until recently, because the federal financial accounting and reporting framework did not require the inclusion of budgetary balances, the impact of these problems on budgetary reporting was not clear. To provide a means to assess the reliability of budget execution data in the Presidents Budget, beginning with fiscal year 1998, agencies were required to prepare a Statement of Budgetary Resources SBR as one of their primary financial statements. The SBR serves as a tool to link audited budget execution information reported in audited agency financial statements to information reported in the actual column in the Program and Financing PF Schedules of the Presidents Budget. Accordingly, users of financial statements should be able to better assess the reliability of these amounts in the Presidents Budget.

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  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science

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