Financial Audit: Restatement to the General Services Administration's Fiscal Year 2003 Financial Statements

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Secretary of the Treasury, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is required to annually prepare and submit audited financial statements of the U.S. government to the President and Congress. We are required to audit these consolidated financial statements (CFS) and report on the results of our work. An issue meriting concern and close scrutiny that emerged during our fiscal year 2004 CFS audit was the growing number of Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act agencies that restated certain of their financial ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. December 6, 2005.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Secretary of the Treasury, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), is required to annually prepare and submit audited financial statements of the U.S. government to the President and Congress. We are required to audit these consolidated financial statements (CFS) and report on the results of our work. An issue meriting concern and close scrutiny that emerged during our fiscal year 2004 CFS audit was the growing number of Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act agencies that restated certain of their financial statements for fiscal year 2003 to correct errors. Errors in financial statements can result from mathematical mistakes, mistakes in the application of accounting principles, or oversight or misuse of facts that existed at the time the financial statements were prepared. Frequent restatements to correct errors can undermine public trust and confidence in both the entity and all responsible parties. Further, when restatements do occur, it is important that financial statements clearly communicate, and readers of the restated financial statements understand, that the financial statements originally issued by management in the previous year and the opinion thereon should no longer be relied on and instead the restated financial statements and related auditor's opinion should be used. Because of the varying nature and circumstances surrounding the restatements, we are issuing a number of separate reports on the matter. This report communicates our observations regarding GSA's fiscal year 2003 restatement. Going forward, we hope that the lessons learned from the fiscal year 2003 restatement, together with our recommendations, will help GSA and its auditor avoid the need for restatements to GSA's future financial statements. We reviewed four key areas with respect to the restatement of GSA's fiscal year 2003 financial statements: (1) the nature and cause of the errors that necessitated the restatement, including planned corrective actions by the agency and its auditors; (2) the timing of communicating the material misstatement to users of the financial statements; (3) the extent of transparency exhibited in disclosing the nature and impact of the material misstatement in the financial statements and the reissued auditor's report; and (4) audit issues that contributed to the failure to detect the errors that necessitated the restatement during the audit of the agency's fiscal year 2003 financial statements."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • December 6, 2005

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Financial Audit: Restatement to the General Services Administration's Fiscal Year 2003 Financial Statements, text, December 6, 2005; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc297009/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.