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GAO finds fault with financial reporting at consumer watchdog agency

A Government Accountability Office audit of the Consumer Financial Protection

The accounting issues could hinder the agency's ability to meet internal control goals, according to the audit report. The CFPB is subject to an annual GAO audit under a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act, which established the agency and imposed financial regulations on the banking industry as a whole.

The issues identified by the GAO relate to: effective internal control processes; data and information system security; timely disbursement of agency payroll transactions; and documentation of the agency's accounting practices as they relate to financial reporting.

"We do not consider these issues to represent material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in relation to CFPB’s financial statements," according to the report. "Nonetheless, we believe they warrant management’s attention and action."

If the issues aren't addressed, the agency could inappropriately allocate assets due to insufficient internal controls, or be vulnerable to unauthorized data access. The agency would also likely continue to show incorrect information on its yearly financial statements, according to the GAO.