News: Fort Carson prepares for financial audit
Story by Spc. Nathan Thome
FORT CARSON, Colo. – To help Fort Carson prepare for its first financial statement audit in 22 years, representatives of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army Financial Management Comptroller, taught unit supply soldiers to track and identify property, Dec. 6.
The representatives taught an Existence and Completeness Real Property Audit Readiness course to 55 unit supply noncommissioned officers from across post. The instruction covered an overview of audit readiness, including internal control, tracking supplies, identifying deficiencies and correcting inconsistencies.
“The Department of Defense had never been through a financial statement audit, so we’re here to get them up to speed to help them pass the audit coming it 2017,” said Shannon Jones, trainer, representative of the OASAFMC.
In 1990, the Chief Financial Officers Act required all financial agencies to have audited financial statements.
“According to the CFOA, the DoD needs to improve their financial statements” said Regis Canny, project manager, Global Business Services. “When the new Secretary of Defense came in last year, Leon Panetta, he said that this will be fixed.”
Canny added that if personnel are doing internal controls connected with their jobs, they are going to produce great data, which allows the Army to support the warfighters.
“The data allows for better decision making, and ensures congress that what they are asking for, is justified, because the numbers support it and we represent to the taxpayer that we need it,” Canny said.
Producing certified financial statements ensures the right rules are being followed and that external individuals, such as auditors and suppliers, can place trust in those financial statements.
“This class is meant to help the Army, but it’s improving the abilities of our soldiers as well,” said Staff Sgt. Aaron Thomas, unit supply noncommissioned officer, 62nd Ordnance Company, 242nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 71st ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal).
Unit supply soldiers are responsible for the general upkeep and maintenance of Army supplies and equipment, coordinating supply activity, and making changes to unit property books.
“I believe this class is important to soldiers, but especially unit supply soldiers, because it’s teaching us that the equipment we have is vital to the larger Army, and not just to our unit,” said Thomas. “We’re the guys on the ground making it happen, the subject matter experts who can get the Soldiers what they need to get the mission done.”
With the upcoming audit looming, Thomas said he plans to help his soldiers and other supply NCOs in his unit get their property books and supplies in order.
“I know what to expect, and we’re going to get our equipment straight,” Thomas said. “We’re going to do the right thing and get everything on the books, so we can pass this audit and improve the Army’s standing.”
The instructors said that what they taught the soldiers would prepare them for their first financial statement audit.
“Hopefully through this training, the soldiers will be able to identify some of the things they have already identified on their own, such as deficiencies, and go back and try to correct those prior to the site teams or independent auditor coming out,” said An-lih Tung, trainer, representative of the OASAFMC.