The Foreign Service Journal, November 2013

54 NOVEMBER 2013 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL AFSA NEWS AFSA’s Annual Audit: 2012 The word “audit” is occasion- ally burdened with the weight of negative perceptions, per- haps out of fear of potential exposure to weaknesses or management system errors that may be uncovered in the process—much like one might feel before visiting a doctor for a thorough physi- cal exam. But as a business professional and nonprofit leader, I do not see it that way. I welcome our audit, and even look forward to it each year.  A proper, professional audit will yield comments that lead to improvements. It will also validate adopted standards, difficult busi- ness decisions that have been made and the overall financial stewardship of the organization. CliftonLar- sonAllen LLP, which is one of very few firms to focus solely on nonprofit-sector organizations and is among the nation's top-10 account- ing firms, recently completed its audit of AFSA for 2012. Their report has gone to the full AFSA Governing Board, but I would also like to share its main findings with AFSA’s membership—our sharehold- ers, as it were. CliftonLarsonAllen issued a consolidated financial statement (on AFSA’s web- site at containing the highest pos- sible commendation: a clean A MESSAGE FROM IAN HOUSTON, AFSA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (unmodified) opinion. For the fourth consecutive year, they found no deficiencies in AFSA’s financial operations. This reflects the fact that AFSA has steadily upgraded its financial management and related governance proce- dures. It is a pleasure to work closely with AFSA’s account- ing team: Finance Director Femi Oshobukola, Controller Kalpna Srimal and Assistant Controller Cory Nishi. I can assure you they are diligent and always open to improve- ments that deepen our finan- cial management. In addition to this team, the entire AFSA staff deserves credit since finance and business activity touches all elements of the organization.   I also want to recognize the oversight role that former AFSA Treasurer Andrew Winter played in 2012, and in the seven years before that during which he served in the same role. The finance, audit and management committee, now led by AFSA Treasurer Ambassador Chuck Ford, also played an important part in helping bring this audit information forward. The committee continues to uphold the practices that have earned AFSA marks for excellence in business organization and financial management. n “FS Stories” to Celebrate 90 Years 2014 marks the 90th year of the Foreign Service and AFSA. AFSA News invites FS active-duty, retirees and family members from all foreign affairs agencies to tell a short story from your life in the Foreign Service—not just on the job, but memorable moments, as well. Articles should be approximately 500 words in length. High-resolution photographs are welcomed. Stories will appear in AFSA News and on our website throughout 2014. Please submit your story to AFSA News Edi- tor Donna Ayerst, For questions, please call (202) 577-3611. NEWS BRIEF Coalition Protests Government Lockout AFSA President Bob Sil- verman (at the podium), American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox and National Treasury Employees Union Presi- dent Colleen Kelly, all members of the Federal- Postal Coalition, led a rally against the government shut- down on Capitol Hill on Oct. 10. Despite the heavy rain, the event drew nearly 1,000 participants and a large media presence. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, among others, also addressed the enthusiastic audience. n RALLY, continued from page 49 a rousing chant, “We want to serve,” Sharon turned the podium back over to Bob Silverman, who closed the rally by urging the crowd to take that message to their members of Congress. The rally drew a large contingent of media outlets, with international and domestic coverage by Politico , Government Executive and Japanese Public Television, among others. n PHOTOBYMATTSUMRAK