Janet Yellen, U.S. secretary of treasury, said in her introductory message, “The fiscal year 2020 Financial Report is an important resource for accountability and transparency… this document is a testament to the importance of accountability and transparency in how the nation handles its finances and economic policymaking.”
U.S. Debt Forum agrees with Yellen and will host free webinars to educate Americans about the dire financial position of their federal government, its failed audit, and the multiple warnings contained in the report. Reservations may be made at www.usdebtforum.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 263-page report disclosed:
- Assets of $5.9 trillion
- Liabilities of $32.7 trillion
- Net position of negative $26.8 trillion
- Sustainability Measure of negative $79.5 trillion (an increase of $30.5 trillion from the prior year)
- Net operating costs (e.g., income statement) a “loss” of $3.8 trillion for 2020
The General Accountability Office (GAO), the auditor, could not issue an unmodified (clean) opinion. Rather, it issued a disclaimer of opinion, as it has done continuously for over 20 years since audits were first required.
GAO found many of the same material weaknesses and deficiencies that affected past financial statements continue to hinder the government from having reliable, useful and timely financial information, including serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense, the inability to adequately account for intragovernmental activity and balances between federal entities, the inability to determine the full extent to which improper payments occur, scope limitations, significant uncertainties, information security control deficiencies, and material weaknesses in the system of internal control and in financial statement reporting that hampers the government’s ability to reliably report a significant portion of its assets, liabilities, costs and other related information.
“The recent financial history (pre-pandemic), current state, and future financial sustainability of our country are alarming, and annual audit disclaimers of opinion for over 20 years are outrageous and unheard of. I do not know of any CEO or leader who would tolerate all this red ink and continuous failed audits,” says Michael Doorley, CPA, and founder of U.S. Debt Forum.
Doorley also said, “Citizens may want to complain to their federally elected representatives about the financial mismanagement and failed audits. But the elected representatives are management. They control the purse strings and, to a great degree, the bully pulpit for public discourse. They are the ones accountable for the untenable current financial position and future financial unsustainability which poses threats to our individual, national and economic security.
He concluded, “Economists use economic theory to predict what may happen. Accountants use math to write the history of what happened. It’s time to add accountants’ voices to the national discourse about our country’s financial position!”
About – Michael Doorley, CPA, was a 35-year financial services executive serving in CFO, CAO, COO, and board positions. He founded usdebtforum.com, which seeks to hold elected politicians accountable for their financial mismanagement; chairs a special interest group on our national debt; guest lectures at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business; and commissioned nationwide surveys of individual investors’ and financial advisors’ knowledge and perceptions of the U.S. national debt. Articles he authored appeared in Newsweek, the New York State CPA Journal, Michigan CPA and BoardIQ.
Contact: Michael Doorley
Mar 29, 2021, 08:36 ET