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DVIDS – News – BALANCED FINANCES: Commissioners receive an unqualified audit for the 2021 financial year

FORT LEE, Va. — The Defense Commissary Agency’s financial statements have been properly balanced as independent auditors gave the agency an unmodified audit opinion for fiscal year 2021.

An unmodified opinion means that a third-party review has revealed no material misstatements in the agency’s finances. For DeCA, this certifies how the agency manages its finances when paying out the commissioner’s benefit, said Bill Moore, director and CEO of DeCA.

“We provide a valuable benefit to the military community, and the unqualified audit opinion instills confidence in our clients that their commissioner has their best interests at heart,” Moore said. “It also shows that we are fulfilling our mission in an effective, efficient and financially sound manner to ensure that their benefits are maximized.”

Here is an overview of DeCA’s financial highlights for fiscal year 2021:

• Curators generated over $4 billion in annual sales
• DeCA operations cost $1.3 billion
• The agency also processed more than 62 million transactions in its stores
• DeCA spent $21.8 million to implement COVID-19 safety protocols
• Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, typhoons, winter storms and tropical storms cost the agency $5 million
• DeCA generated nearly $900,000 in additional revenue through recycling

The agency’s unmodified opinion and ability to balance its finances is a testament to the efforts of every DeCA employee, said Cynthia Morgan, the agency’s chief financial officer.

“Getting an unqualified audit opinion is a team effort,” Morgan said. “There needs to be an emphasis on accountability and auditability. It also requires constant vigilance on the part of every DeCA employee to ensure that the tasks they perform are timely, accurate, and in compliance with all policies and regulations.

The independent auditor, CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA), reviews approximately 500 actions that demonstrate the integrity of DeCA’s internal financial processes and controls and its interactions with external partners, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) and the Defense Logistics Agency.

CLA conducted portions of its audit of DeCA virtually to comply with COVID-19 restrictions, said Linda Randall, director of accounting at the resource management branch.

“Like everyone in society, we have had to adapt and overcome the challenges inherent in COVID-19,” Randall said. “And despite the physical restrictions of the pandemic, CLA performed a full financial statement audit of our finances in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards,” Randall said.

DeCA joined seven other defense agencies in receiving an unmodified notice: US Army Corps of Engineers – Civil Works, the Military Retirement Fund, the Defense Contracting Audit Agency, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service – Working Capital Fund, DOD Inspector General and the Defense Health Agency – Contract Resource Management.

As with all defense agencies, DeCA is included in the audit of DOD’s consolidated financial statements. This means that the Commissioner’s agency financial well-being feeds into the Department of Defense process, and thereafter DeCA works with the DOD to provide the requested data to meet the audit pending dates of the ministry.

For DeCA, the formal audit process begins when CLA auditors review the financial statements and all related internal controls and transactions at the agency’s commissioners and headquarters in Fort Lee, Virginia. However, the agency should operate as if every day is an audit day, Randall said.

“Whatever function our employees perform, there is a financial implication, direct or indirect, and this will ultimately impact our budget and our ability to accurately reflect our financial position,” she added. “The culmination is an unqualified audit opinion.”

CLA auditors test and assess the following key areas:

• Ordering and accounting for resale products
• Processing customer transactions in stores
• Accounting for tangible fixed assets
• Correctly certify time and attendance
• Compliance with laws and regulations
• Fund balance with cash, payroll, property, income/accounts, receivable/unrequited income, credits and budget accounts
• The financial reporting and compilation process
• Information Technology, particularly areas of the agency’s ongoing deployment of its Enterprise Business System (EBS) that impact inventory and pricing

Being consistent, transparent and dedicated to engaging in what is necessary for a clean audit is key to DeCA’s success, said Robert B. Strimple, the agency’s chief compliance and reporting officer.

“The policies and regulations we follow ensure that all of our assets, overheads and transactions are properly reflected in the agency’s financial reports,” he said. “Ultimately, our ability to properly manage our finances helps us better deliver the best possible curatorship benefit to our clients.”
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About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a global chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissars provide a military advantage, saving authorized customers thousands of dollars annually on their purchases over similar products at commercial retailers. Reduced prices include a 5% surcharge, which covers the costs of building new stores and upgrading existing ones. A vital part of military family support, and an important part of military pay and benefits, commissioners help prepare the family, improve the quality of life for U.S. service members and their families, and help recruit and to retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Date taken: 20.05.2022
Date posted: 20.05.2022 10:40
Story ID: 421162
Location: FORT LEE, Virginia, USA

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