BARS Reporting Requirements

Significant Changes to BARS Reporting Requirements

BARS Reporting Requirements

Updated requirements to match the refreshed annual filing system

4 Reporting

4.1 Reporting Principles and Requirements

4.1.2 BARS Reporting Requirements Pursuant to RCW 43.09.230, Annual Reports are to be certified and filed with the State Auditor’s Office within 150 days after the close of each fiscal year. The legal reporting requirements prescribed by the State Auditor’s Office for local governments in Washington State are consistent with the national standards of financial reporting prescribed by the GASB. These requirements for GAAP local governments are as follows:

  1. Basic Financial Statements, including notes to financial statements.
  2. Required Supplementary Information (including MD&A)
  3. Supplemental Schedules For the basic financial statements, the local government needs to prepare worksheets to summarize the general ledger trial balances, the resources and the expenditures schedules at the required account level. Most of these worksheets do not need to be submitted as part of the annual report, but they must be available for audit. The matrixes in BARS Manual 4.1.4, Summary of Reporting Requirements identify the statutory reporting requirements for GAAP local governments. Local governments are required to update the materially incorrect financial statements. The requirement applies to all errors found prior or during an audit. If a local government elects to prepare the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR), it will have to produce additional schedules and statements that are NOT described in this Manual. However, the statements and schedules required for BARS reporting can be placed directly in the ACFR, and nearly all of the additional financial requirements of the ACFR are readily met by formally preparing the data used to satisfy BARS requirements. No duplication of effort is necessary to produce the ACFR from BARS reports. For additional information on preparation of a ACFR see BARS Manual 4.9, GFOA Financial Reporting Recognition Programs. The Department of Health (DOH) Accounting and Reporting Manual for Hospitals, which contains uniform accounting, budgeting and reporting for licensed hospitals in the state of Washington, is available from the DOH Office of Hospital and Patient Data Systems at (360) 236-4210 or from the Department’s website. The requirements in this Manual do not substitute the reporting requirements contained in the Department of Health (DOH) Accounting and Reporting Manual for Hospitals.

Filing instructions Electronic reporting is encouraged when filing annual reports. Annual reports should be submitted via the filing system on the State Auditor’s website at: . For assistance with filing the government’s annual report, please review the BARS & Annual Report Filing FAQ page for resources.

For questions and/or support, please use the HelpDesk through our Online Services.

If the local government cannot provide the annual report via the filing system, mail the annual report to:

Annual Report
State Auditor’s Office
Local Government Support Team
PO Box 40031
Olympia, WA 98504-0031

The following table provides a list of all components of the annual report. This is a guide to help local governments ensure they submit all applicable components. Please see footnote references for additional guidance on a specific component.

  City/Town County Special Purpose District
Certification X X X
Financial Statements (including MD&A/Notes/RSI) X X X
Schedule 01, Revenues/Expenditures/Expenses1 X X X
Schedule 09, Liabilities If applicable   If applicable If applicable
Schedule 15, State Financial Assistance If applicable If applicable If applicable
Schedule 16, Expenditures of Federal Awards If applicable If applicable If applicable
Schedule 17, Public Works2 See footnote 2 See footnote 2  
Schedule 20, Sales and Use Tax for Public Facilities   If applicable  
Schedule 21, Risk Management X X X
Schedule 22, Assessment Questionnaire3 See footnote 3   See footnote 3

X         Required to be prepared and submitted to the SAO.

Checklist Footnotes

[1] Local governments with no financial activity, defined as having neither expenditures, other than small automatic bank fees (such as dormant account fees) and the state auditor’s office audit billings, nor revenues other than interest income on any cash balances, have the option to submit summarized annual reports. These governments need to submit a Schedule 01 reporting fund balances at the beginning and end of the reporting year as well as any investment income received on those balances if applicable.

[2] See BARS Manual 4.8.6, Public Works − Cities and Counties (Schedule 17) for detailed instructions indicating which cities and counties are required to prepare this schedule.

[3] Only cities/towns and special purpose districts with annual revenue of less than $300,000 are required to prepare this schedule. However, conservation districts, fire districts, transportation benefit districts, local/regional trauma care councils and industrial development corporations are required to prepare the Schedule regardless of the amount of revenue. However, some government types are required to complete this schedule regardless of the amount of annual revenue. See BARS 4.8.14 Assessment Questionnaire (Schedule 22) for detailed instructions.

For a local government with no financial activity as defined above in footnote reference 1, it is required to submit a summarized version of the Schedule 22. These governments will be required to submit no activity supporting documents such as meeting minutes and county reports and/or bank statements verifying no activity. Note that by selecting this submission option, preparers of the annual report are certifying that their government meets the definition of no activity.