Thursday, June 28, 2018

Animal feed inspection fee audits explained

Liz Beckman
Animal Feed Program

To protect the health of animals and humans, WSDA’s Animal Feed Program regulates commercial animal feed for household pets, as well as farm livestock and poultry. 

Those who make or distribute – or are listed on the label as responsible for – animal feed in Washington state must be licensed or registered and pay fees. Inspection fees pay for agency services that help the industry comply with state and federal laws, and ensure that animal food is safe. 

We also provide auditing services to our customers. Audits maintain a level playing field for the industry, ensuring that businesses are paying the correct amount of fees – no more, no less. Audits also open a dialog between the department and fee-payers, so we can provide education and technical assistance. 

If you are one of the approximately 240 animal feed registrants or licensees in the state, and we identify your company for an audit, don’t panic. We aim to make the process as efficient, collaborative and transparent as possible. 

Note that we may ask licensees or registrants located outside the state for a desk audit and have you send information to us. 

Steps in the audit process 

First, we will contact your business and schedule the audit. Next we have a conversation to discuss your company’s business and accounting system. This helps determine which records we will need to review. 
Animal feed storage facility.

From the start, and throughout the audit process, we welcome questions. We want to create a mutually beneficial learning experience. 

Records review

We will ask you to make available production records, unique software reports (electronic or hard copy), sales invoices, scale tickets, bills of lading and receipts for the period being audited. 

Based on our initial conversation, we may request other documents used for verification. Some information may not be reviewed in detail because it has little or no effect on inspection fees.

Note that records detailing tonnage of commercial feed distributed within Washington state are not considered public information and therefore, will be kept private.  

After the review

The auditor will ask you to clarify any inconsistencies in a closing conference. 

You’ll receive a preliminary report shortly afterward. Be sure to review this report carefully and ask if any information is unclear. This is your opportunity to make corrections and provide additional documentation if necessary. 

If the preliminary report is revised, we’ll share it with you again. 

If we find that your business is in full compliance, we will send a final audit report within about three weeks.

If the audit reveals inconsistencies with payment of your inspection fees, the final report will include an invoice with a detailed breakdown of fees that you either owe or overpaid. 

If you owe WSDA inspection and late fees, these are due within 30 days of receiving the audit report and invoice. State law authorizes the department to collect this debt. 

If the audit report shows that you have overpaid fees, the department will refund the identified amount and mail you a check. 

Audit follow-up

If you disagree with the results of your audit report, you have the right to an appeal. We must receive your written request for an appeal within 30 days of the final report date. 

Following the audit process, we will send you a survey asking how the process was for you. Results will be kept confidential, so please be candid. We use feedback from these surveys to identify areas we need to improve and ones that are successful. 

Please contact me at or by phone at 360-902-1942 if you have questions about this process.