Industrial Fund Accounting System Design of U.S. Army Deseret Test Center

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-03-18.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

            Commanding Officer
            Deseret Test C'enter
            Fort Dcmglas       p&pJy-6pqy-~
            Salt Lake City, Utah 84113
9I.         &?ar
              Sir:                                                                         LM098945

                        The General Accounting Office has decided to terminate            our review
              of the Deseret Test Center's         Industrial    Fund Accounting System. The
              accoLmting mamaP was submitted to our office              by the Assistant      Secretary
              of Defense (Comptroller)         for approval   in accordance with accounting
              priN5.pkS       and stamkirds as prescribed       by the Comptroller     General.       Hsrr+
              ever, during our review the impkxx~1iation             of Test Evaluation      Anal.ysis
      ,Np"':, Hanagen~cnt Uniformity       Plan (TEAS-W> was anncwnced and, as a result,
              substantial      chsnges are to be made in the accounting         system,      Also, we
              were advised that personnel who would be working with              cmr   staff    in
              makirag the changes necessary to conform to Title             2 of GAO's Policy and
              Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies will be heavily                    in-
              volvled in implementing       TEAM-UP.

                   fn order to assist your staff       in revising    the Accounting PW~ual
            prim     to resubmission,    we are enclosing     informaS comments on our
            observations      during our review.     You need nlot respond to these comments
iH          but we believe      that they will,    if considered when resuhitting       the
            accosting      system design, facilitate      our approval when a resubmission
            is prepared * FJe wi.14. be glad to work cooperat?vely         with you, within      .
            available    ma,npmaer $ In any way that we may be of assistance         in develop-
            ing the accoun"b-ing ~systent so that it meets the crit~eria        of the
            ComptrolZcr     General and In developing      a new submissiuqn of the system

                   Thank you for the courtesies  and coaperation   extended to our staff
            derring their visit.   A copy of this letter   is being sent to the Assistant
            Secretary of the Army (Financial    Management).

                                                          S. D. McElyea
                                                          Regional Manager

            Encllosure:     as stated

                                                                                                                ‘I’ ““’



                        During our visit       to DTC, we provided    the Cor:ptrol.ler with a copy of          I
                Title     2--Accounting --of the C-cneral Accountir,g Office Policy and Pro-
                cedures ?:anttal for Guidmce of Federal. Agencies, including             a copy'of the
                revised pertinent         parts of sectl;.on 27 dis tributed   by tile Comptroller
                General on Eovmber 25, 197C, and the Z&view Guide for Federal. Agency
                AccountLng Systcns.           Ve believe   that these will prove very helpful      to DTC
                officials      in revising     the system design for resubmission.

                        DTC's subnission    of a system design was in the form of a manual;
                however, it should be noted. that syster? designs c!ay be submitted in the
                form of eitl,ler systm design p?cl:a~es or fully               devel.op3    liKlnuals * A
                n:anual   is accqteble    provided      (1) the material       is arrar;ged to distin-
                guish between and segregate,          insofar    as practical,       the desi.g:n infoma-
                tion and the detailed       operating      procedures   and instructions,         and
                (23 it is accon!panied by a document that lists                the design requirements
                as detailed     in section 27.5 of Title         2 and identifies        the section of
                the manual that responds to each requiremnt.

                     Whether DTC"s revision   involves    a fully    developed nanual or a
                        design package, we believe
                SyStE!lil                              the folIowing     factors are the major
                ones that should be stressed:

                1.          Identification       of the relationskip      of the accounting    system to--
                             (a)     the azmcyTs pro~raril, budget, and orp;s.nizational.       strxture;
                             (b)     the rG.ssion.3, Euncticns,     and f:inanc:a.l mans~ement necdq of
                                     the entity;    ax1
                             (c)     the a,:ency's total mat7ay;cmnt infomation        system.
                     We noted that the manual submitted defined the programming system.
                but did not relate   the accounting       systen to programming.    We believe
                that a more specific    identification       of how the accounting  classifica-
                tions relate  to the prograrming       classifications   would tic desirable.

                       We also noted that the manual gave objectives            of the accounting
                system in relation        to the areas named in'(b)      Es (c) but did not show
                seecifically      hov: the accounting   system: relates    to these areas.     The
                system design submission should include a specific              explanation  of how
                the "built    inli controls     of the accounting    systm achieve the objectives
                as stated.

                2.          A description.,   supported by a chart, of the overall         recurrent      re-
                            porting    plan in regard to both its internal     operations,       including
                            lower manageKent echelons,    and external.. reporting.

                                                                             1       .
             :                                                                       .
             1       -4,-1

                                         Ouu review indicated      that the submission was iTlC&ilpl~tL?       regarding
                                 internal    reporlts.   That  is,    it    did   not   contain a listing by title    and
                                 form number of all recurring            internal     reports prescribed  by the system
                                 including     the frequency and the period covered, or "as off3 dates fop:
                                 each report.       Nor did it contain a sample of the format showing illus-
                                 trative    data elements for each report.

                                 3.        Complete list           and description       of the accounting        records   to be

                                       Appendix A to the manual submitted contains a '"Chart of Accounts"
                                 and a '"Ijescription of General Ledger Accounts."     However, several
                                 accounts are listed in the description    of general ledger accounts but
                                 not in the chart of accounts.    At least one account is listed      in th'e
                                 chart of accounts but not in the description      of accounts.   Also, the
  !I                             manual did not contain a listing    of the subsidiary    ledgers to be
  I                              maintained.
                                 4.        Charts depicting       the flow of docunentary       data through the. princi-
                                           pal accounting      processes,     supplemented by sufficient       description
                                           to enable relating        the actions charted to the accounting          objec-
                                           tives,   records,    internal    controls,    and financial   reporting      re-
                                           quirements    included in the design presentation.

                                       The manual provides  a good narrative       description   of the flak of
                                 data through the principal   accounting processes; however, the addition
                                 of flow charts, as required,   wouf.cl facilitate      a reuieb7 of the system.

                                 5,        Adequate clocumentati.on            to provide      an understanding       of the desip,n
                                           ‘Ofthe ADP system.

                                             some of the iypes of documentation                  r:hich are deemed to be nrx-
                                 essary               to provide   an understanding         of the design of the system arc:

                                             a.         An overall     narrative    description      and accompanying flow chart
                                                        of the general flow of information             through the system.        This
                                                        should tie in with the general description              of the accounting
                                             b.         A description      of the equipment configuration           and capabilities,
                                                        and the computer language(s)           1'7hich grill be utilized   in pro-
                                                        gramming the processing        operatikx.
                      **                         c,     A description      of controls     to be provided     over data inputs,
                                                        processing,     storage and outputs.
                                                 d.     Identification       of audit trails      in the automated system in-
                                                        cluding a description        of the manner in which a particu?.ar

                                                        element of data that exists in the files              can be traced back
                                                        to the sowce transaction           and forward to its position        in a
       ‘E                                               report.

                                                                                                  . .       .