Review of the Social Security Administration's Accounting System for Accounts Receivable

FGMSD-77-32: Published: Sep 6, 1977. Publicly Released: Sep 6, 1977.

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A review of the Social Security Administration's (SSA) accounting system for accounts receivable including related billing and collection procedures showed that SSA procedures and practices for recording and controlling accounts receivable did not comply fully with the principles, standards, and related requirements prescribed by the Comptroller General.

More than $742 million in overpayments was not reported as receivables and many follow-up collection actions were not made promptly. Although some overpayments may eventually prove to be uncollectible, accounting controls over all overpayments are necessary to protect the interests of the government and to present fairly the financial position of the agency. Effective supervisory reviews are necessary to ensure that follow-up actions are taken promptly.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare should direct the Commissioner, SSA, to establish accounting controls over all overpayments and include all overpayments as accounts receivable on the SSA statement of financial condition. Guidelines should be established to determine a reasonable allowance for unrecoverable overpayments. The Secretary should also require the Commissioner to emphasize the need for increased supervisory review to ensure that adequate collection efforts are taken by all service centers.

    Agency Affected:

 

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