BARS Account Exports In this section, governments can access a report providing information on the allowability of BARS codes in fund types as well as export a chart of accounts specific to a government type.
BARS Codes to Fund Type BARS codes may be restricted for use in the annual report filing system. The following matrix “Codes to Funds” identifies which fund group(s) that each active BARS code may be reported in.
Download FY2022 Codes to Funds here. Codes are as of November 30, 2022.
Note: It is recommended to use this matrix in conjunction with the government specific BARS Account Export provided below.
BARS Account Export Download a government specific BARS Chart of Accounts in the export box at the bottom of this page.
Your annual report requires seven digits for all account codes however, their display in the chart of accounts export varies. The expenditure or expense accounts are presented in the export without object codes. Object codes will need to be added to the BARS Code to complete the required seven digits for the annual report. Additional details about object codes are available in the BARS Manual 1.4. The reporting at the subobject level is not required.
How to use the BARS Account Export
Select a government type The government type selection will limit the BARS accounts that are applicable to the selected government type. If allis selected, the export will include BARS accounts for all government types.
Select basis of accounting The basis of accounting selection will limit the BARS accounts that are applicable to the basis of accounting selected (GAAP or Cash). If allis selected, the export will include all the BARS codes regardless of their applicability to a specific basis.
Select export type The Excel option provides a spreadsheet which you can format. The PDF is formatted to highlight the different categories of account codes and for printing. For display purposes, the account codes contain decimal points which should be excluded in your annual report. Select a reporting level Above and Prescribed option includes all the accounts, including the accounts in which other codes are rolled up into for category presentation. These above prescribed codes are not valid for reporting, however they provide detailed information on the category of the codes. This listing also provides the Prescribed accounts, which are the required accounts for annual report filing. The Prescribed option includes only the accounts which are the valid BARS account codes for annual report filing.
220.127.116.11 A budget is a legal document that forecasts the financial resources of a government and authorizes the spending of those resources for a fiscal period. At a minimum, local governments’ budget must meet the requirements of Washington state law and the State Auditor’s Office. The SAO does not prescribe how to budget or what a budget should look like. The adopted budget should be of sufficient detail to be meaningful and meet the intention of the law. The SAO considers budgets showing revenues and expenditures at the legal fund level to be the minimum acceptable level of detail.
18.104.22.168 Budgeting is more than just an activity to satisfy state law. It is a sophisticated process of strategic planning, communication and policy development resulting in a detailed plan of operations for allocating and monitoring the use of limited resources among various competing demands. Teaching how to budget is outside the scope of the BARS. However, there are many educational resources available to local governments, such as the Municipal Research and Services Center (mrsc.org) and the Government Finance Officers Association (gfoa.org).
22.214.171.124 Glossary of budgetary terms:
Annual/biennial appropriated budget – A fixed budget adopted for the government’s fiscal period. The appropriated budget was traditionally used to determine a government’s property tax levy, and a ceiling on expenditures was made absolute so that the expenditures of a government unit would not exceed its revenues. This budget was also historically a balanced budget, estimated revenues equaling appropriations. The appropriated budget is still used to set tax levies and some budget statutes still require balanced budgets, but it is more generally used to authorize a specific amount of expenditures regardless of whether estimated resources meet or exceed that amount. Appropriated budgets are required by statute in cities (Chapter 35.32A RCW, Chapter 35.33 RCW and Chapter 35A.33 RCW), counties (Chapter 36.40 RCW), and most other local governments in Washington State. These budgets are also called legal budgets, adopted budgets, or formal budgets. The appropriated budgets should be adopted by ordinance or resolution.
Appropriation – The legal spending level authorized by a budget ordinance or resolution. Spending should not exceed this level without prior approval of the governing body.
Capital improvement budget – Consists of two elements: the annual/biennial portion of capital projects and annual/biennial appropriations for the purchase, construction or replacement of major fixed assets in the current fiscal period.
Comprehensive budget – A government-wide budget that includes all resources the government expects and everything it intends to spend or encumber during a fiscal period. The comprehensive budget contains annual/biennial appropriated budgets, the annual/biennial portion of continuing appropriations such as the capital improvement projects, debt amortization schedules, and grant projects, flexible budgets and all non-budgeted funds.
Continuing appropriation – A fixed budget which authorizes expenditures for a fiscal period that differs from the government’s fiscal year, such as capital projects, debt issues, grant awards, and other service projects. These expenditures require an ordinance or resolution to authorize the project, establish the assessment roll, adopt the debt amortization schedule, or accept the grant award. Such ordinances or resolutions set an absolute maximum or ceiling on the expenditures, but the time period for incurring expenditures does not coincide with the government’s fiscal year; it may even cover several years. The major difference between annual/biennial appropriated budgets and continuing appropriations is that the latter do not lapse at fiscal period end; this implies that no legislative action is required to amend the annual/biennial portion of a continuing appropriation, unless the total authorized expenditures would exceed the entire appropriation.
Encumbrances – Commitments related to unperformed (executory) contracts for goods or services should be utilized to the extent necessary to assure effective budgetary control and to facilitate cash planning. Encumbrances outstanding at year end represent the estimated amount of expenditures ultimately to result if unperformed contracts in process are completed; they do not constitute expenditures or liabilities.
Final amended budget – The original budget adjusted by all reserves, transfers, allocations, supplemental appropriations, and other legally authorized legislative and executive changes applicable to the fiscal year, whenever signed into law or otherwise legally authorized.
Fixed budget – Those budgets which set an absolute maximum or ceiling on the expenditures of a particular fund, department, or other specific category. A fixed budget can be either an annual/biennial appropriated budget or a continuing appropriation. Fixed budgets must be adopted by ordinance or resolution, either for the government’s fiscal period or at the outset of a service project, debt issue, grant award, or capital project.
Flexible budgets – Are usually regarded as managerial tools, which do not set a ceiling on expenses or expenditures but establish a plan for them at various levels of service. They are especially appropriate for the day-to-day operations of a public utility where it is essential to plan fluctuations in the demand for services and where revenues will automatically increase with demand, so that a balanced budget does not depend on establishing a ceiling for expenses.
Operating budget – Presents the estimated expenditures and available resources necessary to provide the services for which the government was created. An operating budget will contain flexible budgets and fixed budgets; the fixed budgets will include annual/biennial appropriations for services and the annual/biennial portion of continuing appropriations for debt service and for service projects.
Original budget – The first complete appropriated budget. The original budget may be adjusted by reserves, transfers, allocations, supplemental appropriations, and other legally authorized legislative and executive changes before the beginning of the fiscal year. The original budget should also include actual appropriation amounts automatically carried over from prior years by law.
Working capital budget – Combines flexible and fixed budget elements in one document for enterprise and internal service funds. Current operations are flexibly budgeted based on the estimated level of services to be provided and long-range sources and uses of assets are controlled by annual/biennial appropriations and continuing appropriations.
3.8.8 Imprest, Petty Cash and Other Revolving Funds
Guidance in this section applies to petty cash, imprest accounts, working funds, advance travel, stamp funds, change funds, or any other revolving funds set aside for facilitating minor disbursements, making change, and similar uses. When revolving funds are disbursed, they are restored to the authorized balance by a warrant drawn and charged to the applicable fund.
Imprest, petty cash and other revolving funds are not budgeted because they represent working capital for expenditures that are properly budgeted in other funds.
The authorized balance of imprest, petty cash and other revolving funds should be reported as cash in the general ledger in whichever fund expenditures are expected to be paid from. Expenditures should be recorded when such funds are replenished to their authorized balance.
See the BARS Manual 3.1.3, Internal Control for general guidance on internal controls. The following are minimum expected controls for revolving funds:
The governing body must authorize each revolving fund in the manner that local legislation is officially enacted, i.e., resolution or ordinance. This applies also to all subsequent increases or decreases in the imprest amount.
The governing body or its delegate must appoint one custodian of each petty cash account who should be independent of invoice processing, check signing, general accounting and cash receipts functions. As part of the appointment, the custodian should render a receipt for the imprest amount to the treasurer, clerk-treasurer or auditor from whom he/she receives it. When it is not practical to hire additional personnel or to reallocate these duties among existing personnel, the governing body must establish some mechanism of review that accomplishes the objectives of the segregation of duties. For example, periodic monitoring of cash receipts and/or independent performance of the reconciliation may be adequate compensating controls for when complete segregation of duties is not possible.
The authorized balance should not exceed one month’s salary or the surety bond covering the custodian.
On at least monthly basis, the fund should be reconciled to the authorized balance and to the actual balance per bank statements or a count of cash on hand. If this reconciliation is done by the custodian, it should be checked or re-performed periodically by someone other than the custodian. It is recommended that independent checks not be scheduled with the custodian but be done on a surprise basis.
For funds on hand (such as petty cash or change funds), the custodian must ensure cash is kept in a secured place, such as a locked drawer or box.
For funds deposited into a bank account (such as imprest or revolving funds), disbursements can occur by ATM or Debit Card usage. The custodian must ensure the ATM or Debit Card is kept in a secured place, such as a locked drawer or box. The governing body must approve the establishment of the account and specifically state the purpose of the account and the allowable use of the ATM or Debit Card for the account’s purpose. Additionally, the governing body must establish internal controls and policies regarding ATM or Debit Card usage as well as follow all internal control procedures in place for all accounts in this section and for expenditure of government funds.
Whenever disbursements are made, the fund must be replenished at least monthly by warrant or check. The replenishment should be subject to the same review and approval as processed invoices. The replenishment must be by voucher with the appropriate receipts attached. The receipts should show the date, recipient, purpose, and amount of each cash disbursement. These receipts must be signed by the person receiving the money, stamps, etc. The receipts should be perforated or canceled by some other appropriate means to prevent reuse. At the time of replenishment, the custodian should ensure that the balance remaining in petty cash, together with the amount of the replenishment voucher, equals the authorized balance.
No receipts may be deposited to the fund other than approved replenishments and increases to the authorized balance as described above.
Revolving funds are public funds and may never be used for personal cash advances, loans or expenditures.
Funds may also never be used to provide check-cashing services for employees or others (except in cities that have approved a policy to cash employee’s checks in accordance with RCW 35.21.087 or RCW 35A.40.110; in which case a separate change cash fund should be created solely for this purpose with deposits of cashed items made daily). See the separate procedures applicable to advances for travel expenses.
Whenever a revolving fund is abolished or an individual’s appointment as custodian is terminated, the fund must be replenished to the authorized amount, reviewed and certified as being turned over to the treasurer or new custodian.
See the BARS Manual 3.8.2, Employee Travel for additional guidance specific to advanced travel revolving funds.
See the BARS Manual 3.8.9, Confidential Funds for additional guidance specific to revolving funds established for confidential investigative purposes.
A list of all authorized revolving funds should be maintained. At a minimum, this list should include the type of account, purpose, authorized balance, custodian, and which fund the cash is reported in. This list acts as support for controls and for the government’s bank reconciliation, which will include the authorized balance of all revolving funds as a reconciling item between bank and general ledger.
The authorized balance should be reported as cash in the financial statements in whichever fund expenditures are normally paid from. All funds should be reconciled and replenished to the authorized balance as of fiscal year end to ensure expenditures are recorded.
Reporting Requirements and Filing Instructions for Cities and Counties
4.1 Reporting Principles and Requirements
4.1.5 Reporting Requirements and Filing Instructions for Cities and Counties
126.96.36.199 Pursuant to RCW 43.09.230, Annual Reports are to be certified and filed with the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) within 150 days after the close of each fiscal year.
188.8.131.52 The following matrix provides additional details regarding reporting requirements for governmental, proprietary and fiduciary funds.
X - Required to be prepared by cities and counties and submitted to the SAO N/A - Not applicable; not required to be prepared by cities and counties.
Footnotes  Cities were required to prepare the Schedule 06 beginning in reporting year 2019. Counties are required to prepare the Schedule 06 for reporting year 2020.
 Cities with total revenues usually less than $300,000 are also required to submit a Schedule 22 Questionnaire.
184.108.40.206 The SAO online filing system will automatically produce the C-4 and C-5 statements for the local governments. Note that local governments with total revenues of $2 million or less are not required to prepare financial statements unless debt covenants, a contract, a grantor or the district’s legislative body requires the district to prepare the financial statements or if the government is to receive a financial statement audit. If this request is made, the financial statement package containing the C-4 and C-5 statements and notes should be prepared. The $2 million threshold calculation excludes any proceeds from issuance of long-term debt and resources held by the government in its fiduciary capacity.
220.127.116.11 If more than $750,000 in federal funding was expended by the entity during the year and a federal single audit is required, the entity must prepare financial statements if it has expenditures of federal moneys from more than one program or cluster. However, an entity that normally does not prepare financial statements may not need to prepare them for the single audit if it has expenditures from only one program or cluster. Entities should consult with their local SAO team or the SAO HelpDesk if they have questions about this requirement.
The templates for Online Filing for Schedules 01, 06, 09, 15 and 16 are available on the BARS Reporting Templates page on the SAO website. When using the Online Filing option, the system will create the Schedule based on data provided by the city/county on these templates.
Blank forms for other schedules are provided on the BARS Reporting Templates page. The use of these particular forms is not required; however, information requested by the form is prescribed. Specific instructions accompanying each statement and schedule identify which, if any, details are optional.
18.104.22.168 Subsequent corrections
All subsequent discoveries of errors and omissions in the annual report – from the date of original submission up through the end of the audit applicable to that period – are requiredto be corrected by resubmitting the annual report. For any misstatements discovered during the audit, governments should ensure open communication with the audit team about the correction. Any misstatements discovered after the audit is completed that affect Schedule 01 should be recorded as a prior period adjustment. If misstatements discovered after completion of the audit are material, governments should immediately alert their audit team.
22.214.171.124 Filing instructions
Electronic reporting is strongly encouraged when filing annual reports. Annual reports should be submitted via the Online Filing option on the State Auditor’s website at: https://portal.sao.wa.gov/saoportal/. Acceptable file should adhere to the prescribed record layout and should be an Excel file. It should include column headings. All columns must be formatted as text except the Actual Amount column which is numeric. More details are provided on the website.
For questions and/or support e-mail the SAO HelpDesk through Online Services.
If the city or county cannot provide the annual report in the electronic format it should mail completed physical templates to:
Annual Report State Auditor’s Office Local Government Support Team P.O. Box 40031 Olympia, WA 98504-0031
Electronic reporting through the SAO website will require electronic certification of the annual report during the final steps of the submission process.
If the city or county cannot utilize the electronic reporting, prepare the certification form (provided on the BARS Reporting Templates page), including signature and date and include this form when mailing your report.
126.96.36.199 The following matrix describes required statements and schedules for cash basis cities and counties and the scope of each schedule.
Footnote  There should be only one general fund. Also, if the local government accounts for the debt and capital projects related to proprietary activities in funds other than proprietary, these activities should be incorporated in the appropriate proprietary fund. All interfund transactions between funds which are combined for reporting purposes should be eliminated to avoid double counting.
Annual Report Disclosure Form MCAG No. _______ (City/County)
(This form is not required if you are submitting the annual report electronically.)
Use the column which is appropriate for your government type. Please place a check mark or "Y" if the statements/schedules are attached. If financial statements and/or are not applicable, mark the spot "NA" (not applicable). An "NA" in your government type column will indicate that a schedule is not attached due to lack of activities described in the schedule in reported year. The blocked spot indicates the schedule is not required for that government type.
Footnotes  Only cities and counties with revenue of $2 million or more are required to prepare the notes to the financial statements. See Caution, above.
 See BARS Manual for detailed instructions indicating which cities are required to prepare this schedule.
 Only cities with revenue usually less than $300,000 are required to prepare this schedule.
188.8.131.52 – Clarified how to account for non-cash transactions and receipting by a third party for the benefit of the government. 184.108.40.206 – Clarified which transactions can be reported in Permanent Funds.
220.127.116.11 – Added when interfund loans could be used and requirements for interfund loans from the General Fund. 18.104.22.168 – Added information on negative fund balances and the accounting for those balances. 22.214.171.124 – Added information on when interfund payments become interfund loans.
344.71 (Transits, Railroads and Other Transportation Systems Services)
344.71 New Code - Include private vanpool charges, streetcar and monorail fares, disabled/aging transportation fees, etc. For cities/counties: this code is not reported on the road/street report to WSDOT.
547.10 (Transits, Railroads and Other Transportation Systems Services)
547.10 New Code - This account should be used only if the local government operates its own, or with other governments, transit, railroad or other transportation system. These expenditures are related to public transportation. For cities/counties: this code is not reported on the road/street report to WSDOT.
3.7.1 Changed title to Federal Awards to include all items that must be reported on the Expenditures of Federal Awards (Schedule 16). Updates, changes, and clarifications for reporting awards made throughout.
Added Footnote 2 for no activity governments reporting, no formal Schedule 22, but the government must attach bank statements and any meeting minutes for the fiscal year. 126.96.36.199 Clarified instances where special purpose districts do not need to prepare financial statements. 188.8.131.52 Updated the definition for no financial activity to include small automatic bank fees and SAO audit billings.
Added Quick Links to specific guidance 184.108.40.206 Added additional information on COVID-19 Expenditures including donated personal protective equipment purchased with COVID-19 federal financial assistance, COVID 19 Vaccines - Immunization Cooperative Agreements CFDA #93.268, Provider Relief Fund (PRF) CFDA #93.498 220.127.116.11 Moved and retitled 18.104.22.168 to Preparing the preformatted SEFA template for upload to Online Filing 22.214.171.124 Added yellow flag caution under column 4 instructions. 126.96.36.199 Changed to example of finalized Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards.
348.00 (Internal Service Funds Sales and Services)
348.00 (Internal Service Funds Sales and Services) – Allowed only in internal service funds. Read more about the use of 348.00 and internal service funds in the audit connection blog, “BARS Code Spotlight”.
308 / 508 (beginning/ending cash and investment balance codes)
Cash Basis Cash and Investment Balance Codes – 308.21/508.21: Allowed only in permanent funds and private-purpose trust funds. 308.31/508.31: Allowed in all fund types. 308.41/508.41: Allowed in all fund types except fiduciary. 308.51/508.51: Allowed in all fund types except fiduciary. *308.91/508.91: Allowed in all fund types except fiduciary. *Only the general fund can report a positive unassigned balance.
188.8.131.52 Changed "Programs must be approved by the behavioral health organization and the secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services" to "…secretary of the Department of Health" to match RCW 71.24.555
3.7.1 Updated references to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars 184.108.40.206 Included other federal financial assistance guidance 220.127.116.11 Removed reference to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) 18.104.22.168 Added Identification of COVID-19 related awards requirements 22.214.171.124 Removed the Common Rule Administrative Requirements section 126.96.36.199 Removed the OMB Circular A-87 Cost Principals section
Section number updated to 4.14.13 (from 4.8.13). 188.8.131.52 Updated information on reporting pension (264.30) and OPEB liabilities (264.40) 184.108.40.206 Updated the due date instructions to list I.D. Numbers that do not require a due date to be reported.
3952000, Compensation for Loss/Impairment of Capital Assets
3952000, Compensation for Loss/Impairment of Capital Assets Added the following information: Insurance recoveries that are related to storm cleanup and are realized, or are measurable and available, in the same year as the related cleanup expenditures should be netted against those expenditures. Insurance recoveries that are related to cleanup and are recognized in subsequent periods should be reported as other financing sources or extraordinary items, as appropriate.
For BARS codes 5990000, Payments for Refunded Debt, these codes should be used for payments to an escrow agent for refunding debt payments and direct payments of refunded debt (e.g., BANs, refinancing or loans, etc.). Note this correlates to current refundings, advanced refundings utilize 5930000 codes.
Other Increases and Other Decreases in Fund Resources Added BARS Codes 3821000, Refundable Deposits, 3822000, Retainage Deposits, and 5821000, Refund of Deposits, 5822000, Refund of Retainage Deposits to be used for deposits that are not custodial activities. These codes are replacing 3891000, 5891000, 3892000, 5892000 which are no longer valid BARS codes.
220.127.116.11 Updated information about the "Green Book." 18.104.22.168 Added information that states the SAO is not part of the internal control functions of a government. 22.214.171.124 Updated the five components of internal controls. 126.96.36.199 Updated information about the different areas that should be reviewed for creating internal controls.
188.8.131.52 Included information about OPEB reporting requirements, the types of OPEB plans, links to the State Actuary tools used for liability calculations. OPEB liability reporting on the Schedule 09 required in 2019.
Removed "signed" in 3.6.620 b. which now says "A file must be maintained of those payers who have authorized to add moneys to your account electronically including the proceeds form third party vendors for credit card remittances."
184.108.40.206 Removed reference to the fact that the SEFA must be prepared on the same basis of accounting since Uniform Guidance does not require the SEFA. 220.127.116.11 Removed references to CFDA 10.665: Title I - Schools and Roads, Title II - Special Projects on Federal Land, Title III - County Projects in the Direct costs of expenditure transactions associated with grants, cost-reimbursement contracts, cooperative agreements, and direct appropriations. 18.104.22.168 Revised the requirements for Disbursements to Subrecipients to "expended" rather than "paid." 22.214.171.124 Updated the exceptions for EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (CFDA 66.468) and Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CFDA 66.458). 126.96.36.199 Removed Note 8 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 from the SEFA Notes Template.
Schedule 06 is required for CASH basis cities and towns for FY2019. Optional for CASH basis counties for FY2019, required for FY2020 reporting. Schedule 06 template is available on the BARS Reporting templates page.
264.40, OPEB Liabilities
Added 264.40 to the Schedule 09 codes for reporting OPEB liabilities.
263.93, Environmental liabilities
Added 263.93 to the Schedule 09 codes for reporting Environmental liabilities (e.g. pollution remediation, certain asset retirement, etc.).
The account was divided between internal and external legal services. Within each category were created more separate accounts for different specific legal expenditures. The change will allow governments to analyze and compare costs much more effectively. This also aligns accounting records with procedures auditors are required by professional standards to perform on legal liabilities, so it will help make the audit process more efficient. This change was already announced in 2016 and was not required for the FY 2017 reports; however, the new accounts will be required for 2018 reporting.
Object code 50 was removed and the definitions of object codes 30 and 40 adjusted to include the transactions which were previously reported using object 50. For other details see BARS Alert issued August 1, 2018.
The recent changes in governmental accounting regarding fiduciary activities are effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018; however we incorporated the required changes in this version of manual. The additional information will be available on our website under Fiduciary Funds in BARS manual.
Also, updated was the discussion of enterprise  funds. There are no new reporting requirements and the update expands the current prescription.
The entire section was revised to provide a comprehensive guidance for accounting of capital assets. The update also incorporates the changes to RCW 36.32.210 which removed the annual inventory requirement. This change was communicated on March 21, 2018 in BARS Alert.
This section provides a short overview of other postemployment benefits (OPEB). Starting with financial reports for a fiscal year 2018, all local governments are required to report liabilities related to OPEB, if applicable, in the notes to the financial statements. [This update provides also samples of disclosure regarding OPEB in the Reporting/Notes to Financial Statements section.]
New section was added regarding Equipment Rental and Revolving (ER&R) Fund. This guidance was previously available outside the BARS manual and it is now incorporated into the manual allowing an easy access.
Added a new section to provide a general overview of interfund transactions.
The recent changes in governmental accounting regarding fiduciary activities are effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018; however we incorporated the required changes in this version of manual. The additional information will be available on our website under Fiduciary Funds in BARS manual.
The following sections were updated 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, 4.3.13 (also includes the change in the pension trust fund title), 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, Note X- Deposits and Investments – paragraph . These changes involved only a title change from agency to custodial funds.
New note Fiduciary Activities was added to explain the change in counties’ reporting of 2017 money held for the special purpose districts. The affected counties were notified in an email dated May 29, 2018. The note is still required for the counties which will be reporting the special purpose districts for the firsttime in 2018. If they reported them in 2017, the note is not longer required.
The Schedule was revised to provide relevant information needed in assessing and auditing governments’ risk management circumstances.
The Schedule 09, Schedule of Liabilities, includes a new validation check for net pension liabilities. Governments will receive a red flag if they have pension related liabilities but do not report them on the Schedule 09 or if they are using the incorrect ID No.