Letter from the Chief Financial Officer

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2013 Agency Financial Report Financial Section

Letter from the Chief Financial Officer

I am pleased to present the Fiscal Year 2013 financial statements for the U.S. General Services Administration.

GSA Chief Financial Officer Michael Casella

In FY 2013 GSA continued the work started in FY 2012 by Administrator Dan Tangherlini to implement three key agency priorities: savings, efficiency, and service. The Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) played a key role in supporting these priorities and working to expand and institutionalize many of the reforms instituted in FY 2012. These efforts resulted in reduced administrative spending across the agency, including a 7 percent reduction in Working Capital Fund obligations compared to FY 2012. Other significant accomplishments in FY 2013 include:

  • A new quarterly review process and revised billing methodology helped to ensure that the Working Capital Fund bills only what is needed to support GSA's mission, resulting in the return of $41 million of initially-billed funds to GSA service and staff offices in late FY 2013.
  • The further implementation of the Billing and Accounts Receivable (BAAR) modules for Public Buildings Service (PBS) Reimbursable Work Authorization (RWA) programs. This will enhance the accounts receivable and billing portion of the accounting system and help ensure completeness, accuracy, and the validity of financial transactions.
  • Significant progress has been made in improving GSA's controls over financial management systems, which, as a result, is no longer considered a significant deficiency by GSA's external auditors.

The OCFO continued the important work of streamlining and consolidating GSA's financial operations. This process, started late in FY 2012, with the review of financial functions across GSA, and the identification of areas where effectiveness can be improved and additional efficiencies can be gained. As a result of this review, over 200 additional staff, performing core financial functions, such as budget execution and control, will be consolidated into OCFO in December 2013. In FY 2014, the OCFO will develop a comprehensive concept of operations document, which will guide further realignment of activities within OCFO to increase the efficiency of our financial operations and to build greater consistency in our practices, rooted with sound internal controls. The OCFO expects to complete its realignment in FY 2014.

Based on an independent audit, GSA has received an unqualified "clean" audit opinion on its financial statements, representing the seventh consecutive clean opinion. The audit opinion reflects a financial operation that meets U.S. Department of the Treasury guidance, federal financial regulations, and generally accepted accounting principles.

The independent audit includes a new material weakness in internal controls over GSA financial reporting, due in large part to the use of an inaccurate methodology during the first two quarters of FY 2013 for assessing the total potential liability of asbestos in GSA-owned buildings. GSA applied a new, more accurate methodology in developing its final FY 2013 statements, and OCFO will continue in FY 2014 to take aggressive action to address all reporting issues and reverse this finding in the FY 2014 audit, as well as collaborate with Service and Staff Offices to strengthen entity-level internal controls, prioritizing the highest risk processes, and recurring issues.

I would like to thank the financial management professionals throughout GSA for their hard work and dedication throughout this past year. In the coming year, OCFO will continue to seek ways to deliver more value to GSA's customers and to improve the agency's financial compliance, accountability, and transparency, thereby supporting GSA in its mission to deliver the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to government and the American people.

Signature of Michael Casella, Chief Financial Officer of GSA

Michael Casella
Chief Financial Officer
December 9, 2013

Last Reviewed: 2019-02-26