DFAS FBwT Team receives Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Award

Story by Steve Lawson, DFAS Corporate Communications  

DFAS HEADQUARTERS, July 22, 2021 – The continued work the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Fund Balance with Treasury (FBwT) Team has been doing to reduce overall balances in FY20 has been recognized by the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Award in the Contributions to Department of Defense (DoD Audit and Remediation category).During FY20, the team established strategic goals to drive customer and service-provider engagement, collaboration, and monitoring. In addition, the team leveraged cross-federal government partnerships expanded financial statement measures, created extensive plans and hundreds of milestones, and built transaction reconciliations Universe of Transactions (UoTs) to monitor and resolve both aged and overall FBWT variances.

Among the team accomplishments were:
  • Reduced overall balances in FY20 for Suspense Accounts, Statement of Differences, and the Cash Management Report by 94 percent from $57.3 billion to $3.8 billion and aged balances by 99 percent from $50.5 billion to $664.3 million. These reductions also result in fewer resources required to work these specific focuses, allowing for prioritization of other customer efforts.
  • Transferred $1.1 billion of Recycling, Trademarks & Licensing, Agriculture & Grazing, and Forestry balances out of Suspense Accounts in FY20. Cleared to $0 by August 2020 and established controls to prevent future inflow.
  • Created and sustained UoTs balancing to CARS for SOD, Suspense, CMR, and Deposits (first ever in the DOD for Deposits). Between the start of FY19 and midyear FY20, DFAS progressed from producing 56 FBWT UoTs in nearly ten months to producing 119 FBWT UoTs in less than 60 days. This resulted in more frequent and timely testing for auditors, leading to auditors sampling and reviewing more than 5500 transactions from DFAS on behalf of DoD entities from May 2020 to November 2020.
David Curry, now Executive Assistant for DFAS Enterprise Accounting and Audit Support, said the efforts were a true collaboration.

"The success of FBWT risk reduction was a true team of teams effort between DFAS ESS, DFAS Site Operations, OSD, Military Services, and Defense Agencies," said Curry.

Ryan Carlson, Director of Treasury Reporting at DFAS Columbus, agreed with Curry's comments stating, "We were only as strong as our weakest link and failure wasn't an option!"

Additional efforts to support the effort included:
  • Developed historical quantitative trend analyses to support entity identification for cleared transactions.
  • Created, standardized, and issued DoD FMR policy for key FBWT risk areas.
  • Clarified and expanded DoD guidance on proper financial statement presentation and liability reporting by Treasury Component for Deposit Funds, both addressing existing NFRs and mitigating future NFRs.
  • Supported 99.6 percent of FY20 DoD FBWT Journal Vouchers
  • Implemented monthly reconciliations for all 63 Deposit funds (DOD). Ensured internal controls exist to monitor both the review of Deposit fund reconciliations and the reporting of balances.
  • Collaborated with customers, IPAs, and other auditing entities to review and respond to 1,687 FBWT PBCs in FY20, including 235 UoT requests.
  • Partnered with Defense Agencies to resolve 96 percent of FY20 and prior CMR disbursement/collection variances by completing 15K research packages, providing customer training, and implementing root cause resolutions to prevent inflow. As a result, DFAS supported successful on-site auditor testing of more than 700 CMR variance samples and reduced UoT balances by $2.5 billion ABS since Sept 2018.
  • DISA WCF IPA downgraded FBWT from high risk to low risk due to significant progress and auditable outcomes at both the DOD and customer levels.
The team didn't stop with the finance successes. They also implemented customer SharePoint sites and a DOD-wide FBWT Resource Center to provide UoTs, initiative-related documentation, key information, and educational resources. And hosted an annual FBWT Summit for more than 300 Independent Public Accountants, Inspector General, and DOD entity representatives to provide essential foundational awareness of FBWT efforts, an overview of DOD's path forward in the continued progression towards downgrading the FBWT material weakness, and reductions in resources necessary to host audit walkthroughs.

These successes will provide support for audit efforts for the long-term future.

Members of the team that supported the efforts included:
​Carlton Carley ​Ryan Carlson               ​Lauren Christensen ​Jonathan Clark ​Dave Curry
​Karina Dunn    ​Stacy Furjanic ​Marcia Gaughan ​Tina Griffith ​Jim Likes
​Tony Long ​Jeffrey Lukasik ​Paul McDonald ​Jackie Middleton ​Megan Moore
​Chris Roster ​Jackie Siegrist ​Matt Storie ​James Wilkins Nikole Witchie
Page updated July 22, 2021