Auditors recommend CFPB actions that address review of stale obligations, expense reimbursement monitoring

Recommendations for the budget process related to the review of stale obligations and human capital benefit program monitoring of employee expense reimbursement submissions related to professional licenses, certifications, and memberships were made in the latest annual audit performed for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the bureau reported this week.

In the report, released Wednesday and focused on the bureau’s fiscal 2019 operations, the auditing firm KPMG said it closed a prior year control deficiency related to untimely de-obligation of stale obligations and issued a new one with recommendations.

Recommendations for the budget process are that:

  • The Office of the Chief Financial Officer, in coordination with the Office of Procurement, to continue to assess the root causes of ineffective internal controls that address the review of stale obligations in its corrective action plans, to help design an effective internal control environment that is suitable to CFPB business processes. The review should consider both the effectiveness of the semi-annual open obligation review, and contracting officer representatives (CORs) adherence to the existing policies and procedures to evaluate the validity of stale obligations; and
  • The Office of the Chief Financial Officer and the Office of Procurement consider the need for additional training based on the results of the analysis of root causes.

Recommendations related to the entry of credential expense reimbursement data are that the Office of Human Capital:

  • Develop standard operating procedures to ensure the consistent entry of data within the electronic credential expense reimbursement log and the adequate maintenance of such data once captured in the log;
  • Implement periodic review controls over the data in the electronic credential expense reimbursement log to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the log and to ensure consistency with the corresponding expense reimbursement system data; and
  • Provide training to the Office of Human Capital talent management team members on the new procedures.

The audit was conducted from June 29, 2020, to March 12, 2021, by KPMG. The firm said the audit evaluated (1) CFPB’s budget process relative to CFPB policies and procedures established over budget formulation, execution, and monitoring; (2) the bureau Office of Human Capital’s policies and procedures relating to employee expense reimbursement for professional licenses, certifications and memberships; and (3) corrective actions taken to resolve the finding and recommendations included in the bureau’s 2018 independent audit of selected operations and budget.

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Independent Audit of Selected Operations and Budget, Fiscal Year 2019

Audit report