Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ah, this explains a lot...

A professional contact of mine, well steeped in the mysteries of finance, brought the following commentary from a financial auditor to my attention. Can you guess which major entity is being discussed here?

While significant progress has been made in improving financial management since XXXX began preparing consolidated financial statements 12 years ago, three major impediments have continued to prevent us from rendering an opinion on the accrual basis consolidated financial statements over this period of time: (1) serious financial management problems at the XXXX, (2) XXXX’s inability to adequately account for and reconcile [intracompany] activity and balances between [business units], and (3) XXX’s ineffective process for preparing the consolidated financial statements. In addition to the material weaknesses underlying these major impediments, we noted three material weaknesses involving XXXX’s inability to (1) determine the full extent to which improper payments occur and reasonably assure that appropriate actions are taken to cost-effectively reduce improper payments, (2) identify and resolve information security control deficiencies and manage information security risks on an ongoing basis, and (3) effectively manage its [revenue] collection activities. Until the problems outlined in our audit report are adequately addressed, they will continue to have adverse implications for XXXX and [its shareholders].

Any guesses?

Yep, that's's the U.S. government. It's so messed up that even the Comptroller General General of the United States and the Government Accountability Office can't figure out what's going on. It reminds me of the budget cutting scene in "Dave" with Kevin Kline and Charles Grodin.

Sigh...I'd make some snarky comment about our tax dollars at work but apparently, we can't even be sure that's the case.

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