WASHINGTON — A government watchdog is recommending the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau implement several additional internal controls to avoid misappropriation of assets or inaccurate financial statements.

In a report issued Monday, the Government Accountability Office followed up on several control issues it identified last year in its first CFPB audit. Although the concerns do not represent "material weaknesses or significant deficiencies," GAO said, "we believe they warrant management's attention and action."

It said the agency should complete and finalize its accounting processes; enhance its internal control review procedures; establish an agency-wide information security system; implement procedures to ensure accurate contracts information is recorded; improve procedures for approving CFPB travel transactions; and conduct quarterly post-payment reviews.

Failure to implement the recommendations increases the risk of the bureau not being able to promptly detect the misappropriation of assets, unauthorized access of its data or misstatements in its financial statements, the report said.

GAO also recommended that Congress update the law to require CFPB to test the accuracy of its payroll process and ensure that the processor promptly corrects any errors.

"These recommendations are intended to improve management's oversight and controls and minimize the risk of misappropriation of assets, misstatements in CFPB's accounts and financial statements and unidentified vulnerabilities over the security of its data," the report said.

In its first annual report on the agency's finances, released last November, the office said CFPB's 2011 financial statements were "fairly presented in all material respects" and that the agency "had effective internal control over financial reporting" as of Sept. 30. It also found "no reportable instances of noncompliance" with the laws and regulations tested.

A CFPB spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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