Air Force

September 27, 2013

AF accelerates efforts to become audit ready

WASHINGTON — The Air Force continues to make major strides toward becoming audit ready by Sept. 30, 2014.

The Air Force Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness team took a key step in the Air Force strategy to meet imminent deadlines.

FIAR team members are now visiting various Air Force units to review key financial processes. Processes under review include military pay activities that touch every Airmen as well as important but more obscure financial transactions such as how the Air Force collects reimbursements from the other services and outside organizations.

Following these visits, the team will assess current audit readiness and begin implementing any necessary corrective actions.  While Air Force financial managers believe they have made significant progress since the 2014 deadline was established by then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in 2011, there is much to be accomplished in the next twelve months.

The audit readiness team includes government employees from throughout the Air Force as well as support from the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has experience auditing many large commercial and government organizations, including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Ford, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Marine Corps.

According to Douglas Bennett, the principal deputy assistant secretary for financial operations, being audit ready isn’t just a numbers game; it’s bigger than that.

“As we have a responsibility to defend the American public, we also have a responsibility to be the best stewards of their funds we possibly can,” he said. “If we can’t pass an audit test, it will be hard to keep their trust and confidence.”

The actions Air Force officials are taking to achieve a clean audit opinion will also enhance the accuracy and timeliness of commanders’ financial information, allowing leadership to direct resources to pressing needs such as operations, training and maintenance.

A 2008 study by the Marine Corps found every dollar invested in audit readiness created $2.77 in value.

Keeping with the Air Force’s long-term goal of standardized, transparent business processes, the FIAR effort will help the service be better stewards of the dollars entrusted to them, said a key service official.

“Our FIAR team is documenting and testing our current processes,” said Stephen Herrera, the associate deputy assistant secretary for financial operations.  “These processes include military pay, contractor pay and travel pay as well as our controls for reporting assets such as munitions inventory and even the buildings and hangars our Airmen work in every day.”

As time passes, he said improvements are being made and ideas are becoming reality.

“As we work towards our September 30, 2014, goal of having our initial financial schedules ready to withstand audit scrutiny, we are aggressively working to verify and validate that we’re ready,” Herrera said.  “In several cases we’ve already done the ground work, reviewed our processes, taken necessary corrective actions and have essentially asserted to (Office of the Secretary of Defense) that we’re ready.”

Two examples Herrera gave are the examinations of the civilian pay and funds allocation processes.

“We recently asserted that our civilian pay process and our funds allocation process are ready for audit validation,” he said.  “This resulted in OSD hiring an accounting firm to perform an end-to-end examination of those processes to validate that our internal controls are sound and that the related financial data is accurate.  Personnel from my staff are supporting this examination and are visiting various Air Force organizations to review the respective processes, system controls and individual transactions.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

40 years of Red Flag ends on high note

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., flies to the Nevada Test and Training Range during Red Flag 15-4, Aug. 25. With a...
 
 

Never underestimate your impact

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey — Every day I visit our great Airmen and every day I come across more than one that underestimates their impact to the mission. There’s the one-stripe maintainer, “just repaneling an aircraft,” for the next day’s flight, or the young personalist, “just issuing another identification card,” or the defender, “just guarding...
 
 

Challenge yourself: Never give up, never quit

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — I once read that newly created cells in our bodies do one of two things: they either begin to decay or they become more vital. These cells choose their path based on what we demand of them. If we are sedentary, our brains signal our cells to decay; but...
 

 

SECDEF visits Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Lawrence Crespo U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks with Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases during an all-call at the Lightning Aircraft Maintenance Unit hangar on Nellis AFB, Nev., Aug. 26. Carter’s department is responsible for policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal, and program evaluations for the...
 
 

Air Force extends SAPR services to AF civilians

WASHINGTON — The Air Force released a policy memo today allowing Air Force civilian employees who are victims of sexual assault to file restricted and unrestricted reports with their installation’s sexual assault response coordinator. The policy is effective immediately and allows SARCs and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates to assist Air Force civilians...
 
 

TRICARE pharmacy rules changing for maintenance, brand-name drugs

WASHINGTON — TRICARE beneficiaries who take certain brand-name medications on a regular basis will be required to fill prescriptions at a military treatment facility or through a mail-in program beginning Oct. 1, a Defense Health Agency official said here Aug. 20. George Jones, DHA’s pharmacy operations division chief, said the new policy does not apply...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>