COVID-19 Accounting and Reporting
COVID-19’s effect on local governments has also extended to certain BARS related items. The impacts have resulted in several BARS Alerts, delayed accounting and reporting requirements, and discussion regarding the annual report filing deadline. This page is intended to provide a summary of these items.
|On this page…|
|Accounting & Reporting Implementation Delays|
|2019 Annual Report Filing Deadline|
|BARS Alerts Updated March 12, 2021|
|Subsequent Event Disclosure Information|
|Government Accounting Standards Board COVID-19 Resources|
includes accounting and financial reporting resources
Accounting & Reporting Implementation Delays
The Cash BARS Manual has been impacted by the delayed accounting and reporting principals, established by the GASB and evaluated by the SAO for regulatory reporting requirements. The GASB approved the Postponement of the Effective Dates of Certain Authoritative Guidance Statement on May 7, 2020. Several required accounting and reporting principles that were updated in the BARS Cash Manual in January 2020 may now be postponed.
The GASB approved the Postponement of the Effective Dates of Certain Authoritative Guidance Statement on May 7, 2020. Several required accounting and reporting implementations dates may be postponed as a result of this new guidance.
2019 Annual Report Filing Deadline
Normally the annual report is required to be filed with the SAO by 150 days following a governments fiscal year end. For Fiscal Year 2019 that date was Friday, May 29, 2020 per RCW 43.09.230.
Legislative leaders approved an extension to the deadline as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline for Fiscal Year 2019, December 31, 2019 reporting, was extended to Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
This extension does not impact any other filing deadlines.
The State Auditor’s Office sought an extension of the annual financial report filing deadline. The Governor included the filing deadline extension in an emergency declaration and on Friday, May 29 the Legislature took the action needed to extend the deadline to June 17, 2020. On the evening of June 17, the Legislature took further action to extend the deadline further, to July 1, 2020.
The legislative extension was welcomed in this unprecedented time. If your government was unable to meet the extended deadline, you should document the challenges you faced and the reasons for the delay in filing your financial report. Documentation will be invaluable to our auditors in the future.
The SAO annual financial report filing team continues to be available to help you with any filing questions. Also, the About Filing Online page on our website provides access to helpful filing resources, including the library of annual online filing videos.
COVID-19 BARS Alerts
The SAO issued BARS Alerts addressing BARS Coding for COVID-19 expenses and stimulus payments and other COVID-19 related items.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have effected the normal operations and expenses of many local governments. In addition to this, the federal government will be providing resources to local governments through the CARES Act and other similar provisions.
The BARS Alerts, issued on April 24, 2020 address BARS Coding for federal stimulus monies and a statement on tracking expenses.
Click here for more information on the COVID-19 BARS Coding Alert.
The BARS Alerts, issued on October 1, 2020 addresses the BARS expense/expenditure coding for CARES Act Grant Monies received by Cities, Towns, and Counties and passed on to other governments and businesses .
The BARS Alerts, issued on March 12, 2021 address reporting requirements regarding COVID-19 vaccines and for governments that have donated personal protective equipment (PPE) which was purchased with COVID-19 federal financial assistance.
Subsequent Event Disclosure Information
The BARS manuals require disclosures of particularly important subsequent events that arise between the financial statement date and the date the audit report is issued.
The GAAP BARS Manual Note X – Subsequent Events note was updated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cash BARS Manual Note X – Other Disclosures note was updated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Government Accounting Standards Board COVID-19 Resources
The GASB continues to update their COVID-19 webpage, which provides resources regarding accounting and financial reporting during this challenging time. These resources provide valuable information that may assist finance professionals in determining the appropriate accounting, reporting, and disclosure requirements they are facing due to the unique and challenging circumstances that have emerged due to the pandemic.
Highlights from this page include:
This page helps stakeholders quickly identify the GASB’s authoritative guidance that could be relevant in the current pandemic.
This Q&A document on accounting and financial reporting issues related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and Coronavirus Diseases.
Please contact the SAO via the HelpDesk for assistance.