Who likes to sit around at night reading financial statements and footnotes, general ledger transactions, charts of accounts, and other accounting documents? Does anyone really look forward to reading a royalty agreement?
Most business owners and CEOs would say “not me!” – they just want to get their merchandise into the hands of their customers as quickly as possible. But understanding what’s in your accounting records is essential. You may not know this, but US Customs and Border Protection (“US CBP”) has the authority to go on a fishing expedition on your books. They can hog hours of your valuable time asking questions and demanding explanations, such as whether there are assets on a US importer’s books that are held outside the US, or how importers can explain any addition to the prices paid or payable.
This is because the truth is always in the accounting records. Customs imports, exports, sanctions, anti-corruption, anti-money laundering laws, etc. : everything is linked to the accounting records. Remember, the US government charged and convicted Al Capone for tax evasion. It took an accountant to file a complaint, just like it takes an accountant to keep you compliant and off the radar of US CBP.
If you haven’t had someone to review your business financial statements, general ledger account activity, and overall business structure, someone who is able to understand the difference between the statements US GAAP financial statements and the presentation of international financial statements IFRS, you may miss some items. which are necessary for compliance. Yes, it is complex and time-consuming. Yes, it can take you away from your main goal. But that time and resources are needed to ensure that your financial documents are compliant with US CBP and other US agencies.
Fortunately, someone with the right background and experience knows exactly where to look in your accounting records to flag accounts, transactions, and footnotes that can put you on the radar of CBP and other US agencies.
Please feel free to contact our subject matter experts at Torres Trade Advisory – with experience working for US CBP, large consulting firms and importers – to go through accounting data and terms for an assessment or risk assessment of your finances. They can help you establish open communication between customs, accounting, logistics, tax, legal, and enforcement departments within your company to openly share data and information. They may take the time to study your questionable aids, moulds, dies, payments, etc. And they can help you stay compliant and achieve your business and strategic goals.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.