USPS Plans Move to Monthly Accounting Periods

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The U.S. Postal Service said it will switch from its current 13 annual accounting periods to monthly reporting of data beginning in fiscal year 2004.


Gerry Krienkamp, a USPS spokesman, said the postal service is changing the accounting process to make it easier for everyone involved.


"This will allow us to report data like most other businesses and government agencies," he said. "The change will better align USPS with customers, competitors and economic forecasts that are done on a monthly and calendar quarter basis."


Alan Robinson, president of Direct Communications Group, Silver Spring, MD, a consulting firm that focuses on the postal and parcel market, agreed.


"This will allow [the USPS to] do quarterly financials that can be compared to their competitors and customers," he said. "It allows [the USPS to be] buying off-the-shelf accounting and operations management systems that use monthly calendars. It also is good as it stops the practice where [accounting period] 1 is in the previous fiscal year."


However, the change has downsides, he said, including that "year-to-year comparisons may be hard, and it will take a little getting used to."


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