Reminder: Object 50, Intergovernmental Services and Payments is invalid for reports starting year 2019 and thereafter. The listing below contains new definitions for Objects 30 and 40 which are applicable to coding of your 2019 expenditures. Please review the definitions to ensure their proper application.
1 Charts of Accounts
1.4 Object Codes
00 Depreciation, Amortization, Other Decreases in Fund Resources and Transfers-Out
Use this category of object only with the accounts 501, 581, 582, 585, 586, 588, 589, and 597
10 Salaries and Wages
Amounts paid for personal services rendered by employees in accordance with the rates, hours, terms and conditions authorized by law or stated in employment contracts. This category also includes overtime, hazardous duty or other compensation construed to be salaries and wages. Subdivide this account as necessary for local purposes (i.e., regular pay, overtime pay, sick pay (employee related), sick pay (non-employee related), vacation pay, shift differential, and other taxable compensation).
Personal services do not include fees and out-of-pocket expenditures for professional or consultant services performed on assignments. Such services are properly classified as Services.
20 Personnel Benefits
Those benefits paid by the employer as part of the conditions of current or past employment. Subdivide as needed for local purposes. Example: insurance, unemployment compensation, OASI (FICA) – employer-paid portion, uniforms, pension, and workers' compensation. Payments by self-insurance and trust funds to retired or disabled employees or their beneficiaries, employer payments to pension systems and to state agencies for unemployment and disability insurance. Use object 40 for payments from self-insurance funds for property and liability claims.
30 Supplies for Consumption and Resale
items purchased for consumption (e.g., office supplies, forms, agricultural supplies, chemicals, laboratory supplies, cleaning supplies, clothing, construction materials, drugs, electrical supplies, feed for animals, household supplies, lubricants, medicines, painting and plumbing supplies, books, publications, etc.);
items purchased for resale (e.g., automotive repair parts, grave markers and liners, central store merchandise, maps, code books, concession supplies, fuel, trees, books and other literary materials, office supplies, forms, agricultural supplies, chemicals, laboratory supplies, cleaning supplies, clothing, construction materials, drugs, electrical supplies, feed for animals, household supplies, lubricants, medicines, painting and plumbing supplies, books, publications, etc.); also power, gas, water and waste disposal services purchased for resale only – if purchased for the governments’ own consumption, use object 40;
fuel used to generate power, heating, and operate engines and vehicles (e.g., coal, diesel fuel, gasoline, oil, propane gas, wood, etc.);
small tools and minor equipment.
40 Services and Pass-Through Payments
Use this object for governmental type and other professional and technical services provided by other governments (federal, state, local), other funds, or by private entities.
communication (e.g., postage, internet, telephone, facsimile, shipping, etc.);
travel (e.g., mileage, lodging, meals, etc.);
taxes (e.g., sales and use, B&O tax, etc.) and operating assessments (i.e., payments to other governments or funds based on levies against property or income of the government or a fund);
permits, licenses, accreditation, certification and other fees which are necessary for operations paid to the federal, state or local governments (e.g., survey fees, laboratory accreditation fees, disposal fees, discharge permits, biosolid permits, FERC licenses, etc.);
operating rentals and leases (GAAP entities should use object 60 for capital leases; cash basis entities should use object 70 for the principal payments and object 80 for interest payments on capital leases);
insurance (e.g., liability, theft, bonds, casualty, etc.; however use object 20 for insurance applicable to personnel benefits);
utility services (e.g., water, sewer, gas, electricity, waste disposal, television, etc.; however use object 30 for power, gas or water purchased for resale);
contracted repairs and maintenance (use object 60 for construction contracts);
other (e.g., court costs, investigation, judgments, damages, dues, subscriptions, memberships, registrations, information and credit services, laundry and sanitation services, filing, recording, witness fees, printing, binding, tuition, etc.).
Also include eligible intergovernmental pass-through payments, contributions and grants from federal, state, and own or other local resources to other governments or nongovernmental entities.
60 Capital Outlays
Expenditures related to purchase or construction of assets considered capital according to the government capitalization threshold policy. This object should be used only with accounts 594 and 595.
Include expenditures related to acquisition of, rights to, or additions to capital assets, including incidental costs such as legal, appraisal and brokerage fees, land preparation and demolishing buildings, fixtures and delivery costs. This category of object includes purchases and construction of major capital assets which are purchased or constructed by the external party. Those constructed or fabricated by the municipality should be classified under other object classes; i.e., wages under Salaries and Wages, materials under Supplies, etc. Exclude small tools and minor equipment (use object 30).
Include land, land and other improvements (e.g., easements, site improvements such as excavation, fill, grading, utility installation, removal, relocation or reconstruction of property, retaining walls, fencing, landscaping, land acquisition costs and related expenditures, intangible rights to land, etc.); acquisition, construction and improvements of buildings (e.g., administrative and office buildings, garage, shops, firehouses, jails, libraries, zoos, park buildings, coastal and riverine structures, alleys, athletic fields, water/sewer systems, fuel depots, dikes, levees, signs and signals, landscape and vegetation, etc.); machinery and equipment (e.g., police dogs and horses, computer software/hardware, artwork, etc.); assets acquired under executory conditional sales contracts (RCW 39.30.010), lease-purchase agreements, installment purchase agreements, and similar arrangements that defer payment for capital outlays over a period of time (GAAP only; cash basis governments should use 594PP70 (principal) and 594PP80 (interest) for capital lease payments.
70 Debt Service – Principal
Use with codes 591, 593, 594 (cash basis only), 596 and 599. Include general obligation, revenue, special assessment bonds, capital leases, installment purchases, anticipation and other notes, anticipation warrants, contracts, intergovernmental loans, other debt, LOCAL program payments, etc.
80 Debt Service – Interest and Issuance Costs
Use with codes 592, 593, 594 (cash basis only) and 599. Include interest on short and long-term external debt, interest on interfund debt, interests on debt to joint ventures and affiliates, LID assessments, interest on intergovernmental debt, leases, interest paid on overdue taxes (RCW 84.69.070), debt issuance and other debt service costs.
22.214.171.124 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.
126.96.36.199 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).
188.8.131.52 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.
A governmental accounting system should be organized and operated on a fund basis. A fund is defined as a fiscal and accounting entity with a self-balancing set of accounts recording cash and other financial resources, together with all related liabilities and residual equities or balances, and changes therein, which are segregated for the purpose of carrying on specific activities or attaining certain objectives in accordance with special regulations, restrictions, or limitations.
Basis of accounting refers to when revenues and expenditures are recognized and reported in the financial statements.
Revenues are recognized only when cash is received and expenditures are recognized when chargeable against the report year’s budget appropriations as required by state law. This generally results in revenues being recognized when delivered to the government or government’s agent and expenditures being recognized when paid. Warrants and checks are considered paid when issued. An exception to expenditure recognition would be during any open period after the close of the fiscal year when expenditures can be charged against the previous period for claims incurred in the previous period. Open periods are required by statute for cities (RCW 35.33.151 and RCW 35A.33.150) and allowed for counties (RCW 36.40.200). Special purpose districts which use the county or a city as their treasurer may use the same open-period as their treasurer. If a district acts as its own treasurer, no open period is allowed by statute.
Revenues and expenditures should be reported at gross amounts by account and not netted against each other.
Revenues and expenditures should be recognized for all receipts and payments of a government’s resources, including those where the cash is handled by an agent (such as a bank, underwriter, etc.) on behalf of the government rather than handled directly by the local government. For example, debt proceeds wired directly to an escrow account, payments by the State Treasurer’s Office to vendors for items purchased with LOCAL resources, etc.
Interest earned on investments may be recognized at cost, amortized cost or fair value in accordance with the government’s disclosed accounting policy.
In addition, revenue and expenditures should also be recognized when the government agrees to forgo receiving earned revenue in exchange for reduction of expenses (offsetting agreement) or receipt of an asset (e.g., acquiring an asset in exchange for reduced permit fees, etc.). The government should also recognize transactions in which cash may have been exchanged by third parties on behalf of the government (e.g., bond issuances and bond retirement transactions, loan advances deposited and held by a trustee). In such cases, the transactions are still reportable since the government experienced a transaction of economic or legal substance that would have resulted in cash inflows and outflows into the government’s accounts if the agreement was not in place or third party had not handled the transaction on behalf of the government. The transaction should be recorded as if the cash was received and expended in order to reflect the legal transaction.
This basis results in no reported assets other than cash and investments and no reported liabilities. For example, purchases of capital assets are expensed during the year of acquisition without any capitalization of capital assets or allocation of depreciation expense. However, please be aware that certain liabilities should be reported on Schedule 09 and in the notes in financial statements.
In fund financial statements, governments should report governmental, proprietary, and fiduciary funds to the extent that they have activities that meet the criteria for using these funds.
Presented below is a system to classify all funds used by local government and the assignment of code numbers to identify each type of fund. A three digit code is used: the first digit identifies the fund type and the next two digits will be assigned by the governmental unit to identify each specific fund.
Since counties account for special purpose districts in their accounting systems as fiduciary funds, they often provide the districts with reports showing assigned fund codes 630-699. These codes refer to the fund from the county perspective. A district has to “reassign” the county code to the code appropriate to the fund type it is reporting (e.g., if the district’s general fund is coded in the county records as 663, the district in its annual report has to code this fund as 001).
For reporting purposes local governments are required to follow the described below fund structure. However, the local governments may create other funds for accounting or managerial purposes. When preparing external financial reports, those accounting or managerial funds should be rolled to appropriate fund types (e.g., there should be only one general fund or if an entity accounts separately for operating, capital or/and debt activities of its proprietary function, those activities should be rolled up into the appropriate enterprise fund, etc.)
Code 000 - General (Current Expense) Fund – should be used to account for and report all financial resources not accounted for and reported in another fund. For reporting purposes the local government can have only one general fund.
Although a local government has to report only one general fund in its external financial reports, the government can have multiple general subfunds for its internal managerial purposes. These managerial subfunds have to be combined into one general fund for external financial reporting.
Code 100 - Special Revenue Funds – should be used to account for and report the proceeds of specific revenue sources that are restricted or committed to expenditure for specific purposes other than debt service or capital projects. Restricted revenues are resources externally restricted by creditors, grantors, contributors or laws or regulations of other governments or restricted by law through constitutional provisions or enabling legislation. Committed revenues are resources with limitations imposed by the highest level of the government (e.g., board of commissioners, city council, etc.) through a formal action (resolution, ordinance) and where the limitations can be removed only by a similar action of the same governing body. Revenues do not include other financing sources (long-term debt, transfers, etc.).
The term proceeds of specific revenue sources establishes that one or more specific restricted or committed revenues should be foundation for a special revenue fund. They should be expected to continue to comprise a substantial portion of the inflows reported in the fund. It is recommended that at least 20 percent is a reasonable limit for restricted and committed revenues to create a foundation for a special revenue fund. Local governments need to consider factors such as past resource history, future resource expectations and unusual current year inflows such as debt proceeds in their analysis.
They may use the calculation below to determine whether an activity would qualify for reporting as a special revenue fund.
Other resources (investment earnings and transfers from other funds, etc.) also may be reported in the fund if these resources are restricted, committed, or assigned (intended) to the specific purpose of the fund.
Governments should discontinue reporting a special revenue fund, and instead report the fund’s remaining resources in the general fund, if the government no longer expects that a substantial portion of the inflows will derive from restricted or committed revenue sources.
All revenues have to be recognized in the special revenue fund. If the resources are initially received in another fund, such as the general fund, and subsequently remitted to a special revenue fund, they should not be recognized as revenue in the fund initially receiving them. They should be recognized as revenue in the special revenue fund from which they will be expended.
Special revenue funds should not be used to account for resources held in trust for individuals, private organizations, or other governments.
The state statutes contain many requirements for special funds to account for different activities. The legally required funds do not always meet standards for external reporting. So, while the local governments are required to follow their legal requirements, they will have to make some adjustment to their fund structure for external financial reporting.
Code 200 - Debt Service Funds – should be used to account for and report financial resources that are restricted, committed, or assigned (intended) to expenditure for principal and interest. Debt service funds should be used to report resources if legally mandated. Financial resources that are being accumulated for principal and interest maturing in future years also should be reported in debt service funds. The debt service transactions for a special assessment for which the government is not obligated in any matter should be reported in a custodial fund. Also, if the government is authorized, or required to establish and maintain a special assessment bond reserve, guaranty, or sinking fund, it is required to use a debt service fund for this purpose.
Note: Debt service funds should not be used in proprietary funds (400 and 500). Use enterprise funds (400) or internal service (500) for debt payments related to utilities and other business type activities.
Code 300 - Capital Projects Funds – should be used to account for and report financial resources that are restricted, committed, or assigned (intended) for expenditure for capital outlays including the acquisition or construction of capital facilities or other capital assets. Capital outlays financed from general obligation bond proceeds should be accounted for through a capital projects fund. Capital project funds exclude those types of capital-related outflows financed by proprietary funds or for assets that will be held in trust for individuals, private organizations, or other governments (private-purpose trust funds).
Note: Capital project funds should not be used in proprietary funds (400 and 500). Use enterprise funds (400) or internal service (500) for capital payments related to utilities and other business type activities.
Code 700 - Permanent Funds – should be used to account for and report resources that are restricted to the extent that only earnings, and not principal, may be used for purposes that support the reporting government’s programs – that is for the benefit of the government or its citizens (public-purpose).
Generally, only the principal amounts, interest revenue, and transfers to the appropriate operating fund for interest revenue use should be reported in this fund. Note: any expenses related to the allowable use of the interest earned must be reported in the appropriate operational fund.
Permanent funds do not include private-purpose trust funds which account for resources held in trust for individuals, private organizations, or other governments.
Code 400 - Enterprise Funds – may be used to report any activity for which a fee is charged to external users for goods or services. Enterprise funds are required for any activity whose principal revenue sources meet any of the following criteria:
Debt backed solely by a pledge of the net revenues from fees and charges.
Legal requirement to recover cost. An enterprise fund is required to be used if the cost of providing services for an activity including capital costs (such as depreciation or debt service) must be legally recovered through fees or charges.
Policy decision to recover cost. It is necessary to use an enterprise fund if the government’s policy is to establish activity fees or charges designed to recover the cost, including capital costs (such as depreciation or debt service).
These criteria should be applied in the context of the activity’s principal revenue source.
The term activity generally refers to programs and services. This term is not synonymous with fund. As a practical consequence, if an activity reported as a separate fund meets any of the three criteria, it should be an enterprise fund. Also, if a “multiple activity” fund (e.g., general fund) includes a significant activity whose principal revenue source meets any of these three criteria, the activity should be reclassified as an enterprise fund.
The determination of an activity’s principal revenue source is a matter of professional judgement. A good indicator of the activity’s significance may be comparing pledged revenues or fees and charges to total revenue. For example, consider a county auditor’s office that charges fees to provide a payroll service to various taxing districts. Even if the fee is meant to cover the cost of the service, the county auditor function as a whole is primarily supported with tax dollars from the general fund. It would be allowable in this case to leave the activity all within general fund.
Finding an appropriate fund type requires a careful analysis since there is not always a clear choice. For example, building permit fees may be accounted for in the general fund or a special revenue fund in certain circumstances, such as when they are partially supported by taxes. However, if there is a pricing policy to recover the cost of issuing those individual building permits, they should be reported in an enterprise fund.
Separate funds are not required for bond redemption, construction, reserves, or deposits, for any utility. If separated, use 400 series number. Separate funds are not required even though bond covenants may stipulate a bond reserve fund, bond construction fund, etc. The bond covenant use of the term fund is not the same as the use in governmental accounting. For bond covenants, fund means only a segregation or separate account, not a self-balancing set of accounts.
Local governments may separate operating, capital projects and debt functions of enterprise funds. However, when reporting such proprietary activities, all those functions should be contained in one fund.
Code 500 - Internal Service Funds – may be used to report any activity that provides goods or services to other funds, departments or agencies of the government, or to other governments, on a cost-reimbursement basis. Internal service funds should be used only if the reporting government is the predominant participant in the activity. Otherwise, the activity should be reported in an enterprise fund. Cash basis special purpose districts (such as a fire or water district) should not use the internal service fund category.
Note: When calculating the predominant participant, purchases from fiduciary funds would be considered part of the reporting government’s activity, but the BARS coding would still be to an external customer.
Code 600 - Fiduciary Funds – should be used to account for assets held by a government in a trustee capacity or as a custodian for individuals, private organizations, other governmental units, and/or other funds. These include (a) investment trust funds, (b) pension (and other employee benefit) trust funds, (c) private-purpose trust funds, and (d) custodial funds.
Code 600-609 - Investment Trust Funds – should be used to report fiduciary activities from the external portion of investment pools and individual investment accounts that are held in a trust or equivalent that meets the criteria above.
In addition to the trust criteria requirements above, all individual investment accounts are required to be reported in an Investment Trust Fund.
Code 610-619 - Pension (and Other Employee Benefit) Trust Funds – should be used to report fiduciary activities for pension plans and OPEB plans that are administered through qualifying trusts. Qualifying trusts are those in which:
Contributions to the plan, and earnings on those contributions, are irrevocable. Pay-as-you-go plans do not qualify because they are “payments,” not contributions.
Plan assets are dedicated solely to providing benefits to plan members in accordance with the benefit terms. Different plans (for example a pension and an OPEB plan) cannot be commingled in the same trust. The assets must be partitioned for specific plans.
Plan assets are legally protected from creditors.
If you are acting as administrator for someone else’s pension/OPEB plans, the plans still must meet the criteria above to be reported in a trust fund.
Code 620-629 - Private-Purpose Trust Funds – should be used to report all fiduciary activities that (a) are not required to be reported in pension (and other employee benefit) trust funds or investment trust funds, and (b) are held in a trust that meets the following criteria: the assets are (a) administered through a trust or equivalent that meets the criteria above.
Code 630-698- Custodial Funds – should be used to report all fiduciary activities that are not required to be reported in pension (and other employee benefit) trust funds, investment trust funds or private purpose trust funds. The external portion of the investment pools that are not held in trust that meets criteria listed above should be reported in a separate external investment pool fund column under the custodial funds classification.
Note: The custodial funds are required to be used by business-type activities and enterprise funds, except when the resources will normally be held for less than ninety (90) days.
Code 699 - External Investment Pool Fund – The external portion of the investment pools that are not held in trust and meet criteria listed above. Although this is considered a custodial fund, it should be reported in a separate external investment pool fund column under the custodial funds classification.
Governments should establish and maintain those funds required by law and sound financial administration. Only the minimum number of funds consistent with legal and operating requirements should be established. Using numerous funds results in inflexibility, undue complexity, and inefficient financial administration.
Local governments should periodically undertake a comprehensive evaluation of their fund structure to ensure that individual funds that became superfluous are eliminated from accounting and reporting.
Elected officials should be educated to the fact that accountability may be achieved effectively and efficiently by judicious use of department, program and other available account coding or cautious use of managerial (internal) funds.
184.108.40.206 Budgeting, budgetary control and budgetary reporting
a. An annual/biennial budget must be adopted by every government. b. The accounting system should provide the basis for appropriate budgetary control. c. Budgetary comparisons must be included in the appropriate financial statements and schedules for funds for which an annual/biennial budget has been adopted.
220.127.116.11 Transfer, revenue and expenditure account classifications
a. Interfund transfers, proceeds of general long-term debt issues and material proceeds of capital asset disposition should be classified separately from fund revenues and expenditures. b. Governmental fund revenues should be classified by fund and by the sources indicated in BARS Account Export. Expenditures should be classified by fund and by the categories indicated in BARS Account Export. c. Proprietary fund revenues and expenses should be classified in essentially the same manner as those of similar business organizations, functions, or activities.
a. Appropriate interim financial statements and reports of operating results and other pertinent information should be prepared to facilitate management control of financial operations, legislative oversight, and, where necessary or desired, for external reporting purposes. (RCW 35.33.141, RCW 35A.33.140 and RCW 36.40.210)
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
18.104.22.168 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.
22.214.171.124 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.
126.96.36.199 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.
188.8.131.52 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.
184.108.40.206 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.
220.127.116.11 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.
18.104.22.168 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.
22.214.171.124 – Clarified how to account for non-cash transactions and receipting by a third party for the benefit of the government. 126.96.36.199 – Clarified which transactions can be reported in Permanent Funds.
188.8.131.52 – Added when interfund loans could be used and requirements for interfund loans from the General Fund. 184.108.40.206 – Added information on negative fund balances and the accounting for those balances. 220.127.116.11 – 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. 18.104.22.168 Clarified instances where special purpose districts do not need to prepare financial statements. 22.214.171.124 Updated the definition for no financial activity to include small automatic bank fees and SAO audit billings.
Added Quick Links to specific guidance 126.96.36.199 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 #93.498 188.8.131.52 Moved and retitled 184.108.40.206 to Preparing the preformatted SEFA template for upload to Online Filing 220.127.116.11 Added yellow flag caution under column 4 instructions. 18.104.22.168 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.
22.214.171.124 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 126.96.36.199 Included other federal financial assistance guidance 188.8.131.52 Removed reference to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) 184.108.40.206 Added Identification of COVID-19 related awards requirements 220.127.116.11 Removed the Common Rule Administrative Requirements section 18.104.22.168 Removed the OMB Circular A-87 Cost Principals section
Section number updated to 4.14.13 (from 4.8.13). 22.214.171.124 Updated information on reporting pension (264.30) and OPEB liabilities (264.40) 126.96.36.199 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.
188.8.131.52 Updated information about the "Green Book." 184.108.40.206 Added information that states the SAO is not part of the internal control functions of a government. 220.127.116.11 Updated the five components of internal controls. 18.104.22.168 Updated information about the different areas that should be reviewed for creating internal controls.
22.214.171.124 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."
126.96.36.199 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. 188.8.131.52 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. 184.108.40.206 Revised the requirements for Disbursements to Subrecipients to "expended" rather than "paid." 220.127.116.11 Updated the exceptions for EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (CFDA 66.468) and Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CFDA 66.458). 18.104.22.168 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 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, 4.3.13 (also includes the change in the pension trust fund title), 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 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.