Financial Management and Reporting
Senior managers face several challenges across the enterprise in today’s audit environment. Beek Consulting, LTD will assist with unlocking greater insights within your organization through the effective use of automation, leveraging analytics, and connecting with other business units. Our goal is to bolster the rest of your organization by helping them with strategic data-driven decisions by providing:
- Advice and guidance related to Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) phases
- Technical review and analysis of transactional data and reports
- Identification and resolution of exceeded thresholds and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) across the enterprise
- Assistance with compiling the myriad of data through effective communication across the enterprise to produce your Agency’s Annual Financial Report
- Automating your agency’s reporting requirements to reduce manual processes, save time, and create reports and supporting evidential matter that can pass an audit
- Documenting policies and procedures to serve as a benchmark within your Enterprise Risk Management Program
Beek Consulting, LTD is Agile, Responsive, and Results Driven. We’ll provide targeted results to the challenges you’re facing and can supplement any tiger teams you currently have in place.
While financial reporting is the responsibility of Comptrollers, the actual financial events are the result of actions in our logistics, acquisition, personnel, and other communities. It is the responsibility of each Commander to ensure all elements of their organization have the controls and record-keeping in place to become audit ready.
The Audit Readiness Checklist provides questions Commanders should ask leaders within their organization to ensure they have the records needed to make sound resource decisions and the Department has the records needed to succeed in coming audits. The checklist provides Commanders with the basic actions their organization should take to determine whether they are audit ready and, if not, identify areas for improvement. The checklist helps Commanders assess the efficiency of their organization and validate how well each function performs.
*Beek Consulting, LTD does not own or lay any claims to the tool. All rights of ownership belong to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) OUSD (C). We are merely highlighting an excellent use of resources that all Commanders should adopt to become “Audit Ready.”
Audit Ready Tools
To meet internal control requirements, Beek Consulting, LTD leverages Adobe Experience Manager Forms as a solution to standardize and streamline agency business processes through automation. The implementation of this Adobe tool enables an agency to:
- Capture and process information – reduce the total cost of automating critical business processes by creating easy-to-use forms that incorporate policy and workflow routing into the form, which can be used to monitor and document internal control activities. This also allows for the electronic routing of evidential matter and other transactional support to a central storage repository.
- Communicate with the end user – generate more secure, personalized electronic and paper documents, which improves user engagement and standardizes compliance while reducing costs. This improvement streamlines and improves user correspondence from creation to archival for system-generated, on-demand, or interactive communications.
- Protect content – guards the integrity and privacy of sensitive client and organizational information. It also improves the reporting entity’s regulatory compliance posture and user satisfaction by incorporating requirements, workflow, and the capability to document evidential matter into a single form.
Commander’s Audit Readiness Checklist*
Commanders use funding to execute DoD missions and are therefore responsible for the management of funds under their control. Local systems of record must be accurate and complete. To help the Department become audit-ready, Commanders should begin military-style readiness inspections of financial information, as several cycles of inspection and training may be needed to achieve success. Having accurate financial information will help Commanders prioritize, eliminate inefficiencies, and maintain a high degree of excellence with fewer resources.
In FY 2019, the DoD and most of its Components had a material weakness related to the financial statement compilation process. We have found that Agencies spend way too much time compiling their financial statements. There’s a myriad of feeder systems, and many organizations use different tools to explain and analyze their data. Most profit centers run different general ledger line item queries from the reporting system, mapping in master data information, segregating the data by category, and creating pivot tables to review financial postings for completeness and accuracy. The challenges include the creation of many Excel reports, analytic silos, high dependency on a small group of analysts, and difficulty blending data. Teams are dependent on queries, Access, and Excel for data manipulation. It’s a very manually intensive process. About 75% of your time is spent on data preparation, and only 25% of your time is used for actual analysis.
Financial teams need new strategies to deal with large volumes of data and cannot rely on legacy methods of reporting and analysis in spreadsheets. These teams need to implement new technologies and skill sets to keep up with the exponential increase in workload.
Beek Consulting, LTD will connect all your disparate data sources from MS Excel, Access, SAP Hana, SQL Server, etc., to improve transparency and accuracy of financial reporting.
Completeness and Accuracy = Requires Better Reporting
We’ll make sure that the information you present is complete and accurate to confirm the reliability of your financial statements. It’s imperative that Financial Reporting teams have an audit-ready process to validate data used for audit operations to include significant estimates, calculations, account balance assertions, and key controls.
Integrating Automation and Technology for Analytics
Today, more than ever, less time is available to detect anomalies or outliers in financial reports. With potential human error in reports costing some Agencies millions, it’s crucial that teams can integrate new technology and deep analysis capabilities to discover anomalies before they impact the business.
Use Alteryx to Save Time and Prepare for Audit
Our goal is to save you time so that your staff can free themselves of the repetitive tasks in Excel, obtain more accurate results, and spend time performing analysis to better understand the data.
You have standard analytics. You collect data. But what you do with that data makes all the difference. We make hard things easy.
- Creating an Enterprise Risk Matrix.
- Establishing/Evaluating Internal Control Activities (Manual & Automated) to ensure policies, procedures, and mechanisms exist to meet Agency objectives. These control activities include information from automated general and application controls over financial transaction balances within computer applications and manual application controls performed outside of computer applications.
- Monitoring internal controls through periodic reviews, reconciliations, or comparisons of data using Test of Design and Test of Operating Effectiveness tools. This should be part of the regularly assigned duties of personnel and the normal course of business to confirm the control structure is operating as planned and identifies gaps that may exist.
Enterprise Risk Management
Our goal is to understand your organization’s risk management practices and to align them with best practices. We’ll evaluate your program and, if necessary, integrate internal controls into your financial operations in a risk-based and cost-beneficial manner. We strive to provide reasonable assurance that the entity's internal control over operations, reporting, and compliance are operating effectively. It all begins with the establishment of a risk profile and the development of an ERM program framework for achievable success. These activities focus on establishing or strengthening risk management governance by clarifying and documenting roles, authorities, responsibilities, competencies, functional relationships, and practices for risk management across the organization. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Creating a “tone at the top” which is critical to the success of the other elements of the internal control framework. This provides information and communication that’s relevant, reliable, and timely to appropriate personnel at all levels to ensure internal controls are flexible enough to respond to changes in the control environment.
- Documenting end-to-end process narratives and flowcharts, and reviewing system documentation.
Metric reporting through Key Performance Indicators allows an organization to measure its efficiencies, which provides good stewardship of our tax dollars. Beek Consulting, LTD focuses on the attributes within your reports to evaluate their effectiveness in providing an accurate financial picture of your agency. Reconciliations must include detailed worksheets and documentation to support an audit trail for the resolution of differences. We can help your agency assess and provide measurable results in the following areas:
- Aged Accounts Payable and Receivables
- Negative Payables
- Contract closeout and Negative Unliquidated Obligations
- Tri-Annual Review Process
- Fund Balance with Treasury Reconciliations
- Blocked invoices
- General Ledger Account Code Tie-Point reconciliations to validate trial balance data
Beek Consulting, Ltd will help your agency resolve any Notice of Findings and Recommendations (NFR) identified by the Independent Public Accountant. We’ll analyze the issue and perform a Root Cause Analysis based on the deficiency. From there, we’ll communicate our findings with your team members and collectively develop a Plan of Action and Milestones to lay out an actionable timeline. Once this is achieved, we’ll perform compliance testing based on the frequency of the internal control within the business process until we determine the internal control passes the test of design and test of operating effectiveness. Closing an NFR is no small effort, and Beek Consulting, Ltd can help your agency with the following processes:
- Documenting policies and procedures
- Identifying proper Evidential Matter (EM) that supports a transaction
- Creating Adobe Smart forms that provide Completeness and Accuracy of a transaction as well as a repository for EM
- Developing a Risk Control Matrix
- Developing and Testing Internal Controls
- Completing tasks to close a Corrective Action Plan (CAP)