DeCA enjoys 14 years of clean financial audits
FORT LEE, Va. (April 7, 2016) – A lot happened in 2002. The Euro became legal tender in 12 European countries; the U.N. froze the assets of Osama bin Laden; Kmart became the largest retailer in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy. The New England Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI for their first NFL championship; Tiger Woods won the Masters Golf Tournament for the second straight year; and "American Idol" premiered on Fox. On Sept. 11, the Pentagon was rededicated after repairs were completed – one year after the terrorist attack; and, Hollywood released "The Gangs of New York," starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz.
Also in 2002, the Defense Commissary Agency began its string of clean audits, an unbroken streak that continued with the agency's financial statements for fiscal 2015 being given an "unmodified" audit opinion by independent auditors.
"This opinion means our financial house is in order, and we're good stewards of the appropriations entrusted to us," said DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu, "and that's crucial to our mission of delivering an effective and efficient commissary benefit."
DeCA received $1.4 billion in appropriated funding for fiscal 2015. During that timeframe the agency generated nearly $6 billion in annual sales and processed almost 90 million transactions in its stores, while delivering $2.4 billion in patron savings. Commissaries also redeemed nearly 90 million coupons in fiscal 2015 for additional customer savings of nearly $84 million.
"We have a dedicated team of employees in resource management who help ensure DeCA's financial statements are presented properly," said Larry Bands, the agency's chief financial officer. "However, this level of fiscal excellence is an agency achievement, when you consider the daily activities affecting all employees such as time and attendance, and accounting for resale items, equipment and property."
There are plenty of moving financial parts to a defense agency such as DeCA that's organized to operate like a business, Bands added. "So when we receive this rating from an independent audit, it certifies that we're responsible caretakers of our patrons' benefit."
For DeCA, the road to a successful audit is continuous. Auditors from the CliftonLarsonAllen auditing firm, one of the 10 largest CPA firms in the country, started the process with onsite visits in February and March. They evaluated any internal controls and transactions that link to DeCA's financial statements.
Although DeCA's accountants collect and process the financial data that's audited, the process still hinges on support and cooperation across the agency, said Edna Willis, chief of the compliance and reporting branch in the resource management directorate.
"This unmodified opinion tells our patrons that the finances of their commissary benefit are accurately reported, open and accessible for review," Willis said.
Note: For an info graphic on the agency's clean audit, go to DeCA's Flickr page.
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit and make no profit on the sale of merchandise. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. By shopping regularly in the commissary, patrons save thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America's military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773