Professional services firm CliftonLarsonAllen LLP has won a $8.5 million contract to audit the financial statements of the U.S. Education Department and its federal student aid office over the next five years.
The department receives nearly $100 billion per year for educational grants and other initiatives, while the aid office manages $36 billion in Pell Grants per year and more than $900 billion in student loans.
The loans support 38 million students and 6,200 institutions.
CLA will assess the department’s estimates of the student loan portfolio’s collectability.
“We are very pleased to be awarded the Department of Education and federal student aid audits,” said Patrick Byer, managing partner for CLA’s federal government services unit.
Byer will lead the project out of the unit’s offices in Arlington, Va. and Calverton, Md.
“CliftonLarsonAllen has nearly 300 professionals and contractors dedicated to serving federal agencies and related entities,” he added.
All federal agencies submit audited financial statements every year to the Office of Management and Budget and inspectors general are responsible for the audits.
Agencies can appoint an independent public accounting firm to perform the audit, CLA says.
Such audits are required to comply with Generally Accepted Auditing Standards, as well as requirements and standards issued by the Government Accountability Office.
Auditors evaluate an agency’s financial business processes, related internal controls, test and validate financial statement balances.
CLA’s federal services group also audits financial statements for agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Housing Administration and Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp.
The firm performs single audits for government assistance programs; has higher education, school and school district clients; and works with other federal contractors in the mid-Atlantic region.