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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

GAAP Information
Cash Information
Annual Report Filing Deadline
BARS Coding
Subsequent Event Disclosure Information

GAAP Information
Cash Information
Government Accounting Standards Board COVID-19 Resources
includes accounting and financial reporting resources

Accounting & Reporting Implementation Delays

Cash Information

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.

Click here for more information on the effects to Cash BARS.

GAAP Information

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.

Click here for more information on the effects to GAAP BARS.

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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 was extended to Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

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.

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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.

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 .

Click here for more information on the CARES Act BARS expense/expenditure coding alert for Cities, Towns, and Counties.

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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.

GAAP Information

The GAAP BARS Manual Note X – Subsequent Events note was updated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to see the April 21, 2020 GAAP BARS Alert regarding this update.

Cash Information

The Cash BARS Manual Note X – Other Disclosures note was updated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here for more information on the effects to Cash BARS.

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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:

GASB Emergency Toolbox

This page helps stakeholders quickly identify the GASB’s authoritative guidance that could be relevant in the current pandemic.

GASB Technical Bulletin No. 2020-1

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.

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Questions?

Please contact the SAO via the HelpDesk for assistance.