Financial statements are prepared based upon USB’s accounting records (general ledger). The financial statements are prepared by the Financial Services Contractor and reviewed by the Treasurer monthly, quarterly and annually prior to being finalized. The financial statements are also provided to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) for review. Finalized financial statements are distributed to the Directors and USDA monthly, quarterly and annually for review. On an annual basis, the financial statements will be audited by an independent public accounting firm. The firm will provide a negative assurance letter for the fiscal year audit that not only addresses the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act and Order, but also the Guidelines for AMS Oversight of Commodity Research and Promotion Programs, specifically the AMS Investment Policy. The independent public accounting firm will be retained by and report to the United Soybean Board of Directors.