Published: February 10, 2022

Properly accounting for capital assets is complex and requires significant accounting resources. That’s why we’ve redesigned our Checklist for Capital Assets and added questions to help you avoid the common mistakes we see during audits. Whether you’re preparing your year-end financial report filing or evaluating your policy, processes and internal controls, this checklist for GAAP governments can help with your capital asset accounting.

Here’s a quick summary of some of the improvements we’ve made:

  • A new Excel format makes it easy to download and save electronically. We’ve organized questions by topic areas so you can easily choose the sections you want to work on. All items are in a question-and-answer format, with additional notes containing helpful information.
  • New checklist questions in common pitfall areas, such as accounting for component replacements or asset renovations.
  • New questions to help you make accurate depreciation calculations and reconcile subsidiary records to reported amounts.
  • A new section for the unique requirements that you must follow if you choose the “modified approach” when depreciating infrastructure assets.
  • Additional references to capital asset resources and training opportunities so that you can learn more about capital asset requirements and best practices. For example, we provide a link to a capital asset accounting series that the Government Finance Officers Association offers.

We hope you check out the updated checklist. If you have any feedback or ideas for us, please reach out to us at Center@sao.wa.gov.

Do you need technical assistance?

Remember, SAO can help you. If you have specific technical accounting questions about capital assets, submit them using our HelpDesk in the client portal.

We also have financial management specialists at SAO’s Center for Government Innovation available to talk with you about best practices, resources or internal controls. For assistance, reach out to us at Center@sao.wa.gov.

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