Internal Control Improvements in the USDA Centralized Payroll System

AFMD-85-39: Published: May 22, 1985. Publicly Released: May 22, 1985.

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GAO reviewed accounting operations at the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Finance Center to evaluate several systems' compliance with GAO accounting principles and standards.

GAO found that: (1) the Center was taking corrective actions to address problems uncovered by a USDA Office of the Inspector General audit; (2) individual computer programmers had control over too many aspects of a payroll processing system; (3) controls over programmer access to computer programs and payroll files were inadequate and did not preclude the possibility of fraudulent or unauthorized program changes; (4) internal controls over record counts were inadequate, which could cause incorrect data processing; and (5) the Center should act aggressively to rectify identified problems because it provided payroll services to agencies other than USDA.

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