GAO Management Report: Improvements Needed in CFPB’s Internal Controls and Accounting Procedures

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from GAO-16-522R. The complete report may be found here.

From: GAO

Significant Deficiency in Internal Control over Accounting for Property, Equipment, and Software

During our fiscal year 2015 audit, we continued to find that CFPB did not effectively implement internal controls over the recording of its property, equipment, and software, which led to significant, but not material, misstatements in its financial statements. Specifically, CFPB did not have effective procedures to properly distinguish between costs that should be recorded as capitalized software and those that should be recorded as gross costs (i.e., expensed) and did not timely detect and correct these errors in its records. In addition, we found that CFPB did not effectively maintain accurate inventory records to validate the existence of its recorded assets.

We first identified deficiencies in CFPB’s controls over accounting for property, equipment, and software, which we collectively considered a significant deficiency, during our fiscal year 2013 financial statement audit. Consequently, in May 2014, we separately reported the details of the significant deficiency, along with recommendations for corrective actions. Based on these recommendations, with which CFPB concurred, it has taken actions over the past 2 years to improve the reporting of property, equipment, and software. For example, in fiscal year 2015, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) performed more-frequent (monthly instead of quarterly) reviews of property, equipment, and software transactions. However, control deficiencies remain.

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