The U.S. Postal Service prepares and certifies financial reports that tell the story of its overall financial health. In addition, it makes corporate choices regarding its financial environment with the goal of maximizing value to customers and stakeholders within the context of governing laws and regulations. The Postal Service expects to record $15 billion in net operating losses for fiscal year 2012. To assist the Postal Service in improving its financial reporting and control environment, the Finance Directorate plans and conducts audits to address economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in areas of financial controls, financial reporting, and financial management.
The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 requires an annual audit of the U.S. Postal Service’s financial statements. The Finance Directorate plans and conducts audits in support of the Board of Governors’ independent public accountant (IPA) overall opinion on those statements. In addition, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 requires compliance with section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002, which integrates an audit of internal control over financial reporting into the above financial audit. The Finance Directorate also audits Postal Service financial statement amounts in support of the Consolidated Financial Report of the U.S. Government.
These audits assist in determining that the Postal Service fairly presents the financial statements, complies with direct and material laws and regulations, puts internal controls in place that are effective, and addresses strategic and tactical questions related to Postal Service overall financial management. We conduct these audits at Postal Service Headquarters, the accounting service centers, and at other field level Postal Service facilities. We observe Postal Service data collectors conducting statistical tests of cost, revenue, and volume data at different district locations to verify the accuracy of data used as part of the rate-making process. We also developed and maintain three models containing financial data to assess financial risk and performance of Postal Service business mail entry units, costs and controls at field accounting units, as well as Bank Secrecy Act trends. Further, we conduct other financial audits to identify areas for improvement. Finally, we coordinate the Office of Inspector General’s SOX responsibilities in support of the independent public accountant opinion on the effectiveness of the Postal Service’s internal control over financial reporting with the Information Technology Directorate.