U.S. Consolidated Financial Statements



GAO: Improvements Needed in Controls over the Processes Used to Prepare the U.S. Consolidated Financial Statements

July 2017

During its audit of the fiscal year 2016 consolidated financial statements of the U.S. government (CFS), GAO identified control deficiencies in the Department of the Treasury's (Treasury) and the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) processes used to prepare the CFS. These control deficiencies contributed to material weaknesses in internal control that involve the federal government's inability to

  • adequately account for and reconcile intragovernmental activity and balances between federal entities;
  • reasonably assure that the consolidated financial statements are (1) consistent with the underlying audited entities' financial statements, (2) properly balanced, and (3) in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles; and
  • reasonably assure that the information in the (1) Reconciliations of Net Operating Cost and Unified Budget Deficit and (2) Statements of Changes in Cash Balance from Unified Budget and Other Activities is complete and consistent with the underlying information in the audited entities' financial statements and other financial data.

During its audit of the fiscal year 2016 CFS, GAO identified three new internal control deficiencies.

  • Treasury did not have sufficient procedures and metrics for monitoring the federal government's year-to-year progress in resolving intragovernmental differences at the federal entity level.
  • Treasury did not have a sufficient process for working with federal entities to reduce or resolve the need for significant adjustments to federal entity data submitted for the CFS.
  • Three of Treasury and OMB's corrective action plans did not include sufficient information to effectively address related control deficiencies involving processes used to prepare the CFS.

In addition, GAO found that various other control deficiencies identified in previous years' audits with respect to the processes used to prepare the CFS were resolved or continued to exist. Report