Cities, Counties and Special Purpose Districts (GAAP)

The annual report for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023 is required by Wednesday, May 29, 2024 (RCW 43.09.230).

The Budgeting, Accounting and Reporting System (BARS) Manual prescribes accounting and reporting for local governments in accordance with RCW 43.09.200. Its purpose is to provide (1) uniform accounting and financial reporting to allow for meaningful use and comparison of financial data; (2) accounting and reporting instructions as a resource for local government managers; and (3) a consistent framework for financial reporting to intended users, including managers, governing bodies, granting and regulatory agencies, the state Legislature, and the general public.

The manual is maintained by the State Auditor's Office with input from the Local Government Advisory Committee. It is continuously reviewed to ensure prescription and instructions remain current and appropriate to meet the needs of intended users. Accounting and reporting guidance incorporates analysis of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) published by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board as they become effective.

This manual is designated for all GAAP cities, counties and special purpose districts. The BARS Manual is currently updated for all applicable GASB Statements required for fiscal year 2023 reporting.

Governments should refer to the source standards when researching or early implementing GASB Statements, by visiting

View the detailed Alerts and Changes tab for current year updates.

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