Federal Agency Audits Show Improvements

Each year when the U.S. Treasury Department conducts its annual audit of 24 Federal agencies, it finds a mixed bag of reports based on a variety of factors and circumstances. This year, the Treasury reports that the outlook is more positive than found in previous years, although some agencies managing high dollar amounts still have a long road to hoe.

Using September 30 as the cutoff date for the fiscal year, 13 of the 24 audits revealed favorable opinions, which is one agency better than last year's audits and six more than when the audits began in 1996. The overall comment was that more agencies were completing their financial statements on time and the quality of the data also has improved.

However, the General Accounting Office found several agencies with large budgets and expenditures to be the most risky of all, including the IRS, the Forest Service and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Still, one official with the Office of Management and Budget cited great improvements, especially when the AICPA began recognizing federal accounting principles with the same approval as GAAP or generally accepted accounting principles.

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