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|
|Annual Report Filing Deadline|
|Subsequent Event Disclosure Information|
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.
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 has been extended to Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
The State Auditor’s Office has been seeking 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 is welcomed in this unprecedented time. If your government will not 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 is prepared to help you with any filing questions. Also, the About Filing Online page on our website can provide you access to helpful filing resources, including the library of annual online filing videos.
COVID-19 BARS Coding
The SAO issued a BARS Alert addressing BARS Coding for COVID-19 expenses and stimulus payments.
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.
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.
Please contact the SAO via the HelpDesk for assistance.