Security Assistance Accounting Most Efficient Organization Functions

Article excerpt

From its inception in September 1976, Security Assistance Accounting within Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) has gone through many changes in an effort to provide better service and to be cost efficient. Our current structure and responsibilities look very different from the initial Joint Financial Management Office. To help the reader to understand the scope of our responsibilities, we have put together a brief synopsis of the work assigned to each of our teams.

The Corporate Accounting Branch

The Corporate Accounting Branch prepares and processes vouchers and disburses funds for direct commercial sales (DCS) and foreign military sales (FMS) cases. They process both obligation and expenditure authority and perform foreign military funding (FMF) billing and collection. Corporate accounting performs treasury account reconciliation for the military services, creates reports for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), and performs account reconciliation within Defense Integrated Financial System (DIFS).

The Army Accounting Branch

The Army Accounting Branch provides installation level accounting support for the Army Security Assistance Training Activity (SATFA) and Security Assistance Training Management Office (SATMO). The two training activities' mission is to manage and implement training programs in the continental U.S. (CONUS) and outside CONUS. This branch serves as account manager for Army security assistance programs. This support includes centralized accounting records for Temporary Lodging Allowance, Security Assistance (SA) Teams, and school tours. The Army Accounting Branch also performs departmental level analysis, reconciliation, and consolidation of Army installation level status of funds accounting and reporting for all of the Army FMS.

The Customer Accounting Branch

The Customer Accounting Branch is actively involved in the FMS process from initiating the case to final reconciliation and closure. The branch interacts with all of the foreign customers and international programs that participate in the FMS program. The Customer Accounting Branch consists of 5 country managers and 17 country accountants that provide accounting support to the foreign customers and DOD agencies.

When the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) is signed, the Customer Accounting Branch receives a copy. The country managers and accountants then initiate the new cases in the DIFS. The branch works with the FMS customers to ensure that any required initial deposits for the new cases are received and placed on the cases. The initial deposits must be received into the FMS Trust Fund or Federal Reserve Bank account before the obligation authority (OA) can be released to the implementing agencies (IAs). The branch also implements any LOA Amendments or Modifications in DIFS.

The Customer Accounting Branch is responsible for the DD 645 Quarterly Billing Statements. As the cases progress, the IAs report deliveries to Defense Finance and Accounting Service--Indianapolis (DFAS-IN) on a monthly basis. These deliveries, along with the financial requirements from case payment schedules and the cumulative payments received, are used to determine the amount due from the customers. The Customer Accounting Branch sends the bills and delivery reports out quarterly to all customers with active cases.

The branch is responsible for monitoring the countries' available cash balances within the FMS Trust Fund account. Numerous countries are authorized to deposit their FMS payments into accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB). As disbursements are applied against their available funds in the FMS Trust Fund, the branch monitors the cash balances to ensure they always contain sufficient funds to make payments for the next 30 days. Each month, the country managers review the accounts and determine if they contain sufficient funds and initiate a drawdown to pull funds from the FRB account to replenish the FMS Trust Fund. …