Review of the System of Accounting for Accounts Receivable from the Public Used by the Bureau of Government Financial Operations, Department of the Treasury

FGMSD-77-30: Published: Aug 30, 1977. Publicly Released: Aug 30, 1977.

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A review of the system of accounting used by the Bureau of Government Financial Operations, Department of the Treasury, for accounts receivable from the public showed that the billing and collection system is, for the most part, operated effectively in accordance with the accounting system approved by the Comptroller General in March 1969. However, the accounting for and reporting of these receivables need improvement.

As of September 30, 1976, the Bureau reported accounts receivable from the public of $919,955,541. GAO did not obtain written confirmation of account balances from the debtors, but was able to determine that the receivables were valid by other tests. The recorded accounts receivable included accrued interest on outstanding loans to foreign countries. The Treasury Department maintains the formal accounting records for this interest and also bills and collects the debts. At September 30, 1976, the Bureau's current assets were overstated by $370,437,639 because deferred interest receivables were improperly classified as a current asset under accrued interest receivable. This overstatement resulted from the way the Bureau accounted for interest to be paid by the United Kingdom, which was to be paid beginning in the year 2001.

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