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Encyclopedia > Government financial reports

Government financial reports are an important part of democracy ( or a constitutionally limited republic) but often not widely read or discussed. Online reporting by governments makes these government financial reports more accessible but not necessarily more understood by the public. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ...

Governmental financial reports can include not only the budget or "general fund" as often referred to but also several other types of government financial reports, financial statements, performance reports and audits. Many governmental financial reports are online and opened to critical review by constituents, taxpayer groups, bond rating firms and creditors. Ratio analysis is one of the ways to examine the financial conditions of a government from a revenue potential for generating bond ratings for instance. One online source for state and local financial reports (some called Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports or CAFR) is from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Look up budget in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Historical financial statement Financial statements (or financial reports) are formal records of a business financial activities. ... Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... Audit can refer to: Telecommunication audit Financial audit Performance audit Completion of a course of study for which no assessment is completed or grade awarded; especially audit is awarded to those who have elected not to receive a letter grade for a course in which letter grades typically awarded. ... These taxpayer groups can be formal nonprofit organizations or informal groups. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A creditor is a party (e. ... A ratio is a quantity that denotes the proportional amount or magnitude of one quantity relative to another. ... The Governmental Accounting Standards Board is a major American organization to develop generally accepted accounting principles (US GAAP) along with SEC, AICPA, and FASB. External links GASB Official Website Categories: Stub | Accounting ...

One of the key elements in the financial statement is the Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A). The MD&A is designed to provide a readable version of the technical financial statements. In June of 1999, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board adopted standard 34. Standard 34 requested all cities and states in the US to include a MD&A in their financial statement or CAFR.

CAFR vs. Budget

The CAFR shows more comprehensive accounting entries that budget reports do not, and also should not be confused with "rainy day funds" or required pension surpluss holdings that are generally included in many government budgetary reports and process.

A budget is for a select grouping ("general fund") of accounts showing only the more commonly known revenue income from taxes, fees, licenses, fines and a select few revenue sources. The common government budget report also includes, expenses such as salaries, police, and entitlements will be shown along with required holdings to fund pensions, insurance and bonds.

The CAFR shows not only selectively presented budget items, but also government "enterprise operations" or "enterprise funds", investments, and the return on them (or loss). These funds include but are not limited to assets and holdings to back pension and retirment obligation reserves as required by law.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

A "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report" or "CAFR" is a government book keeping practice which started in the post WWII economic boom and replaced what was regularly an "off-the-books" practice called the "general fixed asset account group" . The various levels of government; "general government" or the federal United States, individual state governments and government agencies each began producing a CAFR in the late 1940s to early 1950s to catalog an accurate picture of institutional funds, or financial holdings, assets and total investment incomes for those government and non-governmental entities using the report, which is above and beyond the budget process. In 1945, the Government Corporation Control Act, began the auditing of wholly owned government corporations and mixed ownership corporations,( those that government may have controlling holdings in but operate as private corporations) all of which may come under the term "enterprise funds".

While a budget might indicate that the government or agency has financial trouble and debt, (because of excess spending within the select grouping of "general fund" accounts presented), the CAFR will normally indicate that government possesses large holdings considerably over what is shown in a budget report or "general fund" alone. Examples from recent history include, Jesse Ventura's career, punctuated by his returning some of the government surpluses to voters as govenor of Minnesota. Other rare news events have highlighted the off-the-budget holdings and "enterprise funds" of government. In one widely reported example in the late 1990s (Los Angeles) Orange County California lost $1-Billion on investments in the derivatives market. Jesse Ventura (born James George Janos on July 15, 1951), also known as The Body, The Star, The Mind, and Governor Body, is an American politician, former professional wrestler, Navy UDT veteran, actor, and former radio and television talk show host. ... Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Area  Ranked 12th  - Total 87,014 sq mi (225,365 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 400 miles (645 km)  - % water 8. ... In mathematics, the derivative of a function is one of the two central concepts of calculus. ...

See also

The Single Audit, also known as the OMB A-133 audit, is a rigorous, organization-wide audit or examination of an entity who expends $500,000 or more[1] of United States Federal assistance (commonly known as Federal funds, Federal grants, or Federal awards) received for its operations. ... General Accounting Office headquarters, Washington, D.C. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is the non-partisan audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of Congress, and an agency in the Legislative Branch of the United States Government. ... The Working Group on Financial Markets (a. ... Look up revenue in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A government corporation or government-owned corporation is a legal entity created by a government to exercise some of the powers of the government. ... Budget theory is the academic study of political and social motivations behind government and civil society budgeting. ... Comprehensive income is defined by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, as “the change in equity [net assets] of a business enterprise during a period from transactions and other events and circumstances from nonowner sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards and make it more accessible to a general audience, this article may require cleanup. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Crony capitalism is a pejorative term describing an allegedly capitalist economy in which success in business depends on an extremely close relationship between the businessman and the state institutions of politics and government, rather than by the espoused equitable concepts of the free market, open competition, and economic liberalism. ... Government Accountability Office investigations of the Department of Defense are typically audits in which the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the United States Congress’ investigative arm, studies how the Department of Defense spends taxpayer dollars. ... The Federal Accountability Act (full title: An Act providing for conflict of interest rules, restrictions on election financing and measures respecting administrative transparency, oversight and accountability) is a statute introduced as Bill C-2 in the first session of the 39th Canadian Parliament on April 11, 2006, by the President...

External links

  • GAO History Government Accounting Office
  • PDF - Capital Asset Accounting System (Permission to quote granted in the document)



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