Story by LCpl Keely Dyer on 04/07/2017CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. Over the past week, Independent Public Accountants, or IPAs, conducted an audit aboard Camp Pendleton in order to get a better understanding of how Camp Pendleton controls their finances.
As the first branch to go through a full financial audit, the Marine Corps' goal is to ensure responsible use of taxpayer dollars and to prevent fraud, waste and abuse; considering not only the money, but the values of vehicles, equipment and even buildings into consideration.
"The end result is that we become more efficient in what we do," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robinson Merchant, the Marine Corps Installations-West Financial Management Officer.
Over the past six years the Marine Corps has been changing the way they conduct business and document their finances. They have been preparing for a DOD-wide audit that becomes effective on September 30 initiated by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2010.
The auditors conducted walk-throughs of various Camp Pendleton assets in order to determine the value of property, equipment and vehicles. They also conducted businesses process walk-throughs to give the auditors an idea of how business is done in the Marine Corps, as well as a view into what exactly the Corps' budget gets spent on.
"Every year the Marine Corps produces a financial statement, and that statement would essentially have the cost of operating the Marine Corps," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 James Hunko, the Programs and Resources Risk and Compliance Audit Engagement Operations Officer for Headquarters Marine Corps. "Through the audit, our books get cleaner and in turn our money stretches even further giving commanders more resources and more money in order to perform their mission ."
Proof that funds are being spent correctly could pave the way for increased funding in the future.
During the portion of the audit being conducted at Camp Pendleton a list of deficiencies and strengths will be compiled along with information from Camp Lejeune, Quantico, MCRD San Diego and Miramar. This information will be used to gain a better understanding of how the Marine Corps can improve their financial management.