Financial Management: Amtrak's Route Profitability Schedules Need Improvement

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Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Amtrak provides an Annual Operations Report to Congress that shows revenue, cost, and profit or loss on all its train routes in the form of route profitability schedules and an annual audited financial statement. In addition, Amtrak periodically receives congressional requests to provide route profitability schedules at different times of the year. In November 2001, Amtrak changed the way it prepared its route profitability schedules and applied this new method to information previously provided for fiscal years 1999 and 2000. Based on the initial information requested and provided, ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. July 15, 2002.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Amtrak provides an Annual Operations Report to Congress that shows revenue, cost, and profit or loss on all its train routes in the form of route profitability schedules and an annual audited financial statement. In addition, Amtrak periodically receives congressional requests to provide route profitability schedules at different times of the year. In November 2001, Amtrak changed the way it prepared its route profitability schedules and applied this new method to information previously provided for fiscal years 1999 and 2000. Based on the initial information requested and provided, the schedule totals could not be readily reconciled to the audited financial statements for the corresponding periods. According to Amtrak officials, in order to focus on the operating profitability of Amtrak's routes, they excluded certain items included in the financial statement amounts in preparing the route schedule data. As a result, the totals for both sets of schedules did not tie directly to the audited financial statements. Amtrak also allocated certain profits from its other business activities to its routes as a reduction in route net cost. The allocation of these profits from other business activities undermines the ability to assess whether or not individual routes are operated profitably. Collectively, these practices compromise the usefulness of these schedules to assess route profitability."

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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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  • July 15, 2002

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Financial Management: Amtrak's Route Profitability Schedules Need Improvement, text, July 15, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc297379/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.