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BARS GAAP Manual

Download this manual as a PDF: Part 1 Part 2
 

BARS Account Export


Select a government type/Select basis of accounting

This government type selection will limit the accounts to those applicable to the selected government type. Although the listing provided intends to be all inclusive, it is possible that needed account codes will not be included. If this occurs, please use the All option to view the entire chart of accounts and contact LGCSFeedback@sao.wa.gov so the listing can be updated.

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. 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 those accounts which are aggregates of detailed account codes and are not valid for reporting in addition to Prescribed accounts which are the valid BARS account codes. Prescribed option only lists valid BARS account codes.

Your annual report requires seven digits for all account codes however, their display in the chart of accounts varies. The expenditure or expense accounts are presented in the export without object codes. Object codes are available in the BARS Manual. The reporting at the subobject level is not required.

This section was last edited by SAO on 03/10/20
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Introduction

2.4 Budget Compliance

2.4.1 Introduction

2.4.1.10 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.

2.4.1.20 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).

2.4.1.30 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 – An 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.

This section was last edited by SAO on 12/17/20
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Capital Asset Management System Requirements

3.3 Capital Assets

3.3.9 Capital Asset Management System Requirements

Quick Links
3.3.9.10 Definition
3.3.9.20 Capital asset management system objectives
3.3.9.30 Capital asset policy
3.3.9.40 Capital asset records
3.3.9.50 System coordination
Additional resources

3.3.9.10 Capital assets are tangible or intangible assets having initial useful lives extending beyond a reporting period, including:

  • Land and improvements to land, including right of ways and easements
  • Buildings and building improvements
  • Parking lots
  • Vehicles
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Works of art and historical treasures
  • Infrastructure assets, such as roads, bridges, sidewalks, water lines, sewers, drainage systems
  • Intangible assets, such as easements, water rights, timber rights, and computer software

A capital asset management system is the set of policies and procedures used to control government’s capital assets. To the extent that capital assets are a significant and important component of government operations, the system should be designed to satisfy operational, compliance, safeguarding and financial reporting objectives.

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3.3.9.20 Capital asset management system objectives

The duty to make certain that public property is adequately protected and that its use is properly managed is one of the fundamental responsibilities of public officials. For some types of local governments, statutes contain specific requirements for demonstrating stewardship of public property. For example, county commissioners are required to inventory all county capitalized assets (RCW 36.32.210). But regardless of whether statutes for a particular government identify any specific duties, public officials have several broad responsibilities with respect to capital assets:

  • Custody – A capital asset system should account for assets, which means it is able to answer:
    • What property and equipment does this government own?
    • Where is it?
    • What condition is it in?
    • Is it protected from loss and unauthorized use?

  • Insurance – A capital asset accounting system should provide adequate records to identify and prove any losses. Location, inventory, and maintenance records will confirm that a lost or damaged asset has been in use recently, which will support the validity and timeliness of a theft or damage report. In addition, when a government has elected to self-insure to some degree, officials should be able to evaluate the nature and extent of risk assumed, which cannot be done without knowing what assets are at risk.

  • Maintenance – As a steward of public property, officials have the obligation not only to safeguard assets from loss but also to ensure they are not neglected, wasted or misused. The local government should not find itself surprised by building or equipment repair or maintenance requirements or by predictable problems with down time and availability of spare parts.

    A capital asset system should allow for identification of assets requiring maintenance, planning of scheduled maintenance necessary to preserve assets, and prompt identification of needed repairs. Moreover, capital asset accounting should provide a framework for capturing costs of maintenance, improvements, impairments and changes in estimated service life or capacity. The system should also provide adequate historical data to allow officials to make informed decisions about the costs of different levels of maintenance or deferred maintenance.

  • Compliance – The capital asset system should allow the government to demonstrate compliance for any assets subject to purpose or use restrictions due to law, contract or grant agreement. For example, assets purchased with federal grant funds must demonstrate compliance with federal property management requirements. 2 CFR §§200.310-316 gives specific requirements related to real property, equipment, supplies and intangible property purchased with federal grant funds.
  • Planning (capital budgeting and utilization) – This includes planning for future asset needs, both short and long range. The capital asset system should be able to answer:
    • How well is the government using the facilities and equipment it already has?
    • What does the government already own that could be transferred to another facility instead of purchasing additional equipment?
    • Which items must be replaced, when and at what cost?
    • When will additional facilities or equipment be needed, where and at what cost?
    • Which facilities or equipment will not be needed, and what cost reductions in maintenance, insurance, and security will result from liquidating them?

The extent and nature of capital planning will vary depending on the size of government, whether demand for its services is stable or changing, whether its functions are capital intensive (like public works and utilities) or labor intensive (like education and welfare services), and how capital outlays are funded (through rates, general taxes, special bond issues, or grants).

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3.3.9.30 Capital asset policy

Governments should develop a capital asset policy that describes the following key elements at a minimum:

  • Capitalization thresholds – This threshold defines the dollar amount at which the purchase of an asset with a useful life of one year or more will be classified as a capital asset. A government may establish a single capitalization threshold for all capital assets or different capitalization thresholds for different classes of assets. The threshold should be established at a small enough level such that the assets excluded would be clearly insignificant to financial reporting in aggregate. In establishing a threshold, governments may consider the types and groups of capital assets they own, management information needs, and best practices (see section below). Local governments that are recipients of federal grants should ensure capital asset thresholds will allow the government to meet federal requirements in the 2 CFR §200.313 related to tracking assets purchased with federal funds.

  • Asset replacement – Policies should provide sufficient direction on when assets should be replaced. Replacement may be based on a set schedule, based on specified conditions, or delegated to specified staff positions or groups to determine or recommend on an asset-by-asset basis. Replacement policies often differ by asset type and should be established to align with and support the governments capital budgeting and planning process.

  • Estimated useful lives – It is important that governments establish reasonable estimates of the useful lives of capital assets for depreciation purposes. When setting useful lives, governments should consider its own past experiences with similar assets in addition to industry norms if the government needs a starting estimate (has no experience of its own). Industry lives may need to be adjusted due to differences in the quality, location/environment, application (intended use of the asset, volume of usage), and maintenance practices.

  • Capitalizing components of larger assets (componentization) – Some assets are made of multiple components with different useful lives. For example, a building is comprised not only of the structure, but may also include furnishings, a roof and HVAC system that each have an estimated useful life less than the structure. Governments may elect to capitalize all components as a single asset, or to “componentize” the building into several related assets.

    The decision to componentize or not should be based on the government’s approach to capital budgeting and planning. This policy will affect whether future work should be capitalized or expensed as maintenance, as well as judgments related to impairments, improvements and the asset’s useful life. The government’s approach should be described in policy and be clearly evident in individual capital asset records to ensure consistent application.

  • Depreciation methods – A government should describe the depreciation method to be used. The selected method of depreciation should remain consistent from year to year. Any change in the depreciation method adopted would result in a change in accounting principle and should be disclosed within the notes to the financial statements. See Capital Asset Accounting for detailed guidelines.

  • Inventory requirements – Policies should require inventories at reasonable intervals. Inventory policies should conform to any statutory or regulatory requirements, such as the requirement for counties to inventory all capital assets per RCW 36.32.210 or the requirement for all assets over $5,000 per unit purchased with federal grant funds to be inventoried at least once every two years per the 2 CFR §200.313. At a minimum, policy should define maximum inventory periods, assign overall responsibility for conducting the inventory, and specify any specific reporting on results expected by the governing body. See Controls over Capital Assets for detailed guidelines on inventory work plans.

    RCW 36.32.210 stipulates that each board of county commissioners must file with the auditor of the county a full and complete inventory of all capitalized assets.

  • Other accounting procedures – As needed, such as treatment of capital leases or procedures for accumulating costs for self-constructed assets.

  • Disposition procedures – To the extent procedures are not defined by statute (such as Chapter 39.33 RCW for intergovernmental disposition of property, or property sales for ports in Chapter 53.08 RCW, etc.), policies should define authority and authorized procedures for determining assets require replacement or are otherwise surplus, and their subsequent disposition.

Once a policy is adopted, it should be periodically reviewed and updated to ensure it meets the needs of the local government.

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3.3.9.40 Capital asset records

Capital asset records should enable the government to meet statutory requirements, to produce adequate reports, and to safeguard assets properly. The basis of a capital asset accounting system is the individual capital asset record. The following minimum information is required for each capital asset:

  • Category of asset,
  • General ledger fund and asset account the asset is recorded in,
  • Individual or department assigned custody of the asset,
  • Acquisition information, including references to source documents and acquisition dates,
  • Source of payment, such as grant, fund, etc.,
  • Historical cost,
  • Name and description of asset that is sufficient to specifically define and identify the asset, including any identifying numbers or legal descriptions where applicable,
  • Estimated useful life,
  • Disposition information, including the date and method (such as destruction, scrap, sale, etc.) and any costs or proceeds.

Note: These components are expected to be included in the inventory for counties prepared in accordance with RCW 36.32.210.

Other information that is not mandatory, but desirable, includes:

  • Brief directions on where/how to locate the asset,
  • Special insurance, maintenance, and repair instructions,
  • Physical inspection dates or condition of asset when it was inspected.

Specific information captured may vary by type of asset. For example, the government may find it necessary to capture certain information about roads or bridges that is different than information needed for equipment. Moreover, information necessary to identify the asset will be different based on the asset type.

In addition to information necessary to describe the current state of the asset, the system should also allow for capture of sufficient information on changes to records that may occur over the life of the asset, such as changes in custody, estimated useful life, improvements, impairments, etc., since it may be difficult or impossible to reconstruct these changes at a later date.

A sample form (see below) has been designed to assist governments in collecting important information about each asset.

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3.3.9.50 System coordination

Since capital asset information is used for a variety of objectives, a challenge facing local governments is coordinating record-keeping that may be maintained or used by different departments or personnel. When multiple departments within a local government have their own system or listing of assets, these lists should be regularly compared and reconciled to ensure information is shared between the departments as the sources and intended use of the information may differ. When multiple departments are using the same system, common definitions should be used. In any case, coordination between departments and users is essential for a comprehensive and effective capital asset management system.

For example, public works departments generally have information about the location, condition, and replacement schedule of infrastructure assets, such as roads, bridges, water, and wastewater systems. Since the department is responsible for managing the maintenance and repair, they may have insight into any changes related to useful lives that may be needed. Generally, this is also the department most involved in construction of new assets.

In addition, outside agencies, such as the Department of Ecology and the County Road Administration Board, require information about various infrastructure assets, so the public works department maintains a listing of the associated assets, and condition, for regulatory reporting purposes. This information retained by public works could be useful for financial reporting purposes. Therefore, it is recommended that finance and public works work together closely to ensure all information about capital assets is accurate and compiled within the capital asset management system.

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Additional resources

Disclaimer: The following are links to non-authoritative resources and are not prescribed as part of BARS Manual requirements.

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This section was last edited by SAO on 12/18/20
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BARS Reporting Requirements

4.1 Reporting Principles and Requirements

4.1.2 BARS Reporting Requirements

4.1.2.10 Pursuant to RCW 43.09.230, Annual Reports are to be certified and filed with the State Auditor’s Office within 150 days after the close of each fiscal year.

4.1.2.20 The legal reporting requirements prescribed by the State Auditor’s Office for local governments in Washington State are consistent with the national standards of financial reporting prescribed by the GASB. These requirements for GAAP local governments are as follows:

  1. Basic Financial Statements, including notes to financial statements.
  2. Required Supplementary Information (including MD&A)
  3. Supplemental Schedules

4.1.2.30 For the basic financial statements, the local government needs to prepare worksheets to summarize the general ledger trial balances, the resources and the expenditures schedules at the required account level. Most of these worksheets do not need to be submitted as part of the annual report, but they must be available for audit. The matrixes in BARS Manual 4.1.4, Summary of Reporting Requirements identify the statutory reporting requirements for GAAP local governments.

4.1.2.35 Local governments are required to update the incorrect financial statements. The requirement applies to all errors found prior or during an audit.

4.1.2.40 If a local government elects to prepare the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, it will have to produce additional schedules and statements that are NOT described in this Manual. However, the statements and schedules required for BARS reporting can be placed directly in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, and nearly all of the additional financial requirements of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report are readily met by formally preparing the data used to satisfy BARS requirements. No duplication of effort is necessary to produce the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report from BARS reports. For additional information on preparation of a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report see BARS Manual 4.9, GFOA Financial Reporting Recognition Programs.

4.1.2.45 The Department of Health (DOH) Accounting and Reporting Manual for Hospitals, which contains uniform accounting, budgeting and reporting for licensed hospitals in the state of Washington, is available from the DOH Office of Hospital and Patient Data Systems at (360) 236-4210 or from the Department’s website. The requirements in this Manual do not substitute the reporting requirements contained in the Department of Health (DOH) Accounting and Reporting Manual for Hospitals.

Filing instructions

4.1.2.50 Electronic reporting is encouraged when filing annual reports. Annual reports should be submitted via the Online Filing option on the State Auditor’s website at: www.sao.wa.gov. 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, please use the HelpDesk through our Online Services.

If the local government cannot provide the annual report in the electronic format mail the annual report to:

Annual Report
State Auditor’s Office
Local Government Support Team
PO Box 40031
Olympia, WA 98504-0031

Certification

Prepare the certification and sign and date the certification before submitting the report.

Annual Report Disclosure Form

MCAG No. _______

(City/County/District)

(This form is not required if you are submitting your annual report electronically.)

Please check if the statements/schedules are attached. Use the column which is appropriate for your government type. If Schedule 17 is not applicable mark the spot NA (not applicable). An unmarked spot in your government type column will indicate that a schedule is not attached due to lack of activities described in this schedule in reported year.

Footnotes (to above checklist)

[1] See BARS Manual 4.8.6, Public Works − Cities and Counties (Schedule 17) for detailed instructions indicating which cities are required to prepare this schedule.

[2] Only cities and special purpose districts with revenue usually less than $300,000 are required to prepare this schedule. However, conservation districts, fire districts, transportation benefit districts, local/regional trauma care councils and industrial development corporations are required to prepare the Schedule regardless of the amount of revenue.

This section was last edited by SAO on 03/09/21
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Table of Contents

Index of Sections

Charts of Accounts1.
BARS Account Export
Determining Operating/Nonoperating Revenues/Expenses in Proprietary Funds1.5
General Ledger Accounts1.2
Object Codes1.4
Revenue/Expenditure Accounts Overview1.3
Account Structure1.1
Applicability1.1.1
Structure1.1.2
  
Budgeting2.
Budget Compliance2.4
Introduction2.4.1
Budget Adoption and Amendments2.4.3
Budget Process2.4.2
  
Accounting3.
Accounting Principles and Internal Control3.1
Fund Types and Accounting Principles3.1.1
Bank Reconciliations3.1.9
Internal Control3.1.3
Original Supporting Documentation3.1.4
Sources of GAAP3.1.2
Assets3.2
County’s External Investment Pool3.2.2
Compensating Balances3.2.5
Deposits and Investments3.2.1
Joint Ventures3.2.8
Money Held in Trust3.2.4
Special Assessments3.2.7
Sweeping Interest and Investment Returns into General Fund3.2.3
Capital Assets3.3
Capital Assets Accounting3.3.10
Capital Asset Management System Requirements3.3.9
Controls Over Capital Assets3.3.11
Liabilities3.4
Arbitrage Rebates3.4.6
Asset Retirement Obligations (AROs)3.4.19
Bonds and Revenue Warrants3.4.3
Financial Guarantees3.4.12
Issuance of Duplicate Instruments3.4.5
Leases3.4.1
Legal and Other Contingencies3.4.15
Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB)3.4.17
Pensions3.4.2
Pollution Remediation3.4.20
Refunding Debt3.4.4
Risk Management Principles3.4.9
Solid Waste Utilities: Closure and Postclosure Cost3.4.8
Deferred Outflows/Inflows3.5
Accounting and Reporting of Property Tax3.5.2
Classification of Deferred Outflows/Inflows of Resources3.5.1
Revenues3.6
Cash Receipting3.6.1
County Auditor's Operation and Maintenance Fund (Recording Fees)3.6.2
County Treasurer’s Operation and Maintenance Fund3.6.3
Criminal Justice Funding3.6.4
Diversion of County Road Property Tax3.6.5
Electronic Funds Transfer – Receipts3.6.6
Impact Fees3.6.7
Liquor Tax and Profits – Two Percent Substance Abuse Treatment Programs3.6.8
Prosecuting Attorneys' Salaries3.8.12
Revenue Accruals in Governmental Funds3.6.9
Suspense Funds3.6.11
Utility Tax3.6.13
Working Advances from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)3.6.10
Grants3.7
Grants – Accounting3.7.1
Pass-Through Grants3.7.2
Expenditures3.8
Confidential Funds (Drug Buy Money, Investigative Funds)3.8.9
Electronic Funds Transfer – Disbursements3.8.11
Employee Travel3.8.2
Imprest, Petty Cash and Other Revolving Funds3.8.8
Memberships in Civic and Service Organizations3.8.13
Mobile Devices3.8.3
Paths and Trails – Accounting3.8.10
Purchase Cards3.8.4
Redeemed Warrants/Cancelled Checks3.8.7
Unemployment and Deferred Compensation3.8.1
Use of Payroll and Claims Funds3.8.6
Voter Registration and Election Costs Allocation3.8.12
Voucher Certification and Approval3.8.5
Interfund Activities3.9
Equipment Rental and Revolving (ER&R) Fund3.9.7
Interfund Activities Overview3.9.8
Internal Service Funds3.9.6
Loans3.9.1
Overhead Cost Allocation3.9.5
Property Transfers3.9.2
Reimbursements3.9.4
Utility Surplus Transfers3.9.3
Compliance3.10
Bond Coverage for Public Officials and Employees3.10.3
County Fair Operations3.10.1
Limitation of Indebtedness3.10.5
New Entity Creation and Dissolution Notification3.10.6
Promotional Hosting3.10.7
Public Works Records3.10.4
Reporting Losses of Public Funds or Assets or Other Illegal Activity3.10.2
Special Topics3.11
Transportation Benefit Districts (TBD)3.11.1
  
Reporting4.
Reporting Principles and Requirements4.1
BARS Reporting Requirements4.1.2
Certification4.1.3
GAAP Reporting Requirements4.1.1
GAAP Versus Cash Basis Reporting4.1.7
Summary of Reporting Requirements4.1.4
Government-Wide Financial Statements4.2
Presentation Requirements4.2.1
Statement of Net Position4.2.2
Statement of Activities4.2.3
Classification of Revenues and Expenses for the Statement of Activities4.2.4
Eliminations4.2.7
Net Position4.2.8
Fund Financial Statements4.3
Fund Types4.3.1
Major Funds4.3.2
Governmental Funds Financial Statements4.3.3
Proprietary Funds Financial Statements4.3.4
Internal Service Funds4.3.6
Fiduciary Funds Financial Statements4.3.5
Conversion and Reconciliation between Government-Wide and Fund Financial Statements4.4
Statement of Cash Flows4.5
Notes to Financial Statements4.6
Instructions4.6.1
Required Supplementary Information (RSI)4.7
Supplementary and Other Information4.14
DES Schedule of Expenses – Risk Pools4.14.2
List of Participating Members – Risk Pools4.14.1
Liabilities (Schedule 09)4.14.3
Expenditures of Federal Awards (Schedule 16)4.14.5
SAO Annual Report Schedules4.8
Revenues/Expenditures/Expenses (Schedule 01)4.8.1
Expenditures of State Financial Assistance (Schedule 15)4.8.16
Public Works – Cities and Counties (Schedule 17)4.8.6
Labor Relations Consultant(s) (Schedule 19)4.8.7
Sales and Use Tax for Public Facilities – Rural Counties (Schedule 20)4.8.8
Risk Management (Schedule 21)4.8.9
Assessment Questionnaire (Schedule 22)4.8.14
GFOA Financial Reporting Recognition Programs4.9
This section was last edited by SAO on 12/24/20
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Overview of Changes

BARS Alerts

04/24/2020COVID-19 BARS Coding
10/01/2020CARES Act Grant Monies Expenditure Codes
12/18/2020Annual update, see changes in table below
3/12/2021COVID-19 Vaccine and Donating PPE Reporting Requirements

Overview of Changes – Applicable to the Reporting Year 2020

Topic Reference Description of Changes 
    Chart of Accounts
BARS Account Export All BARS Codes Remember to download the most current version of the BARS Chart of Accounts
BARS Account Export 386 (Court Remittances) 3860000 –
Updated the referenced RCWs for courts.
Allowed only in Fiduciary Funds.
BARS Account Export 586 (Court Remittances) 5860000 –
Updated the referenced RCWs for courts.
Allowed only in Fiduciary Funds.
BARS Account Export Any use of all functional BARS accounts in fiduciary funds 389/589, 386/586 and 361 are the ONLY codes allowed in fiduciary funds. All other codes will be red flagged.
BARS Account Export 316.40 (Business & Occupation Tax – Utility) 316.40 (Business & Occupation Tax – Utility) –
Not allowed in proprietary funds.
BARS Account Export 341/51P (General Government)

341 and 51P (General Government) BARS Codes →
Allowed only in governmental funds and internal service funds.

Exception - 341.70 Sale of Merchandise - allowed in governmental and proprietary funds.

See additional 518 information below.

BARS Account Export 343.60 (Cemetery Sales & Services) 343.60 (Cemetery Sales & Services) –
Not allowed in permanent funds.
BARS Account Export 343.80/538.00 (Combined Utilities) 343.80/538.00 (Combined Utilities) –
Allowed only for Public Utility Districts.
BARS Account Export 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".
BARS Account Export 37P (Other Revenue and Capital Contributions) 37P (Other Revenue and Capital Contributions) –
Only allowed in proprietary funds.
BARS Account Export 398.50 (Insurance Recoveries) 398.50 (Insurance Recoveries) –
Only allowed in governmental funds.
BARS Account Export 518 (Centralized/General Services) Codes

All 518 (Centralized/General Services) –
For general purpose governments only.

518.65 Impact Fee Distributions to Local Governments - General Fund and Special Revenue Fund use only.

518.70 Printing Services - General Fund and Internal Service Fund use only.

518.80 Information Technology Services - General Fund and Internal Service Fund use only.

All other 518 codes not listed above - Allowed in all governmental funds or internal service funds.

BARS Account Export 519 (Risk Management Services) For general purpose governments only.
Allowed only in general fund and internal service fund.   
*Exception: Risk Pools may use 519 in enterprise funds.
BARS Account Export 541 (Roads/Streets Construction – Preservation Projects) 541 (Roads/Streets Construction – Preservation Projects) –
This code is for modified approach to infrastructure.
Allowed in all fund types except fiduciary and permanent.
BARS Account Export 548 (Public Works – Centralized Services) 548 (Public Works – Centralized Services) –
Allowed only in general fund and internal service fund.
BARS Account Export GAAP beginning/ending balance codes GAAP Fund Balance and Net Position Codes –
308.20/508.20, 308.30/508.30, 308.40/508.40, 308.50/508.50, 308.90/508.90 – allowed only in governmental funds.
308.60/508.60, 308.19/508.19, 308.89/508.89 – allowed only in proprietary funds.   Exception: 308.19/508.19 allowed in GAAP fiduciary funds.
Revenue/Expenditure Accounts Overview 1.3.10 Other Increases and Other Decreases in Fund Resources
Removed BARS Codes 3821000, Refundable Deposits, 3822000, Retainage Deposits, and 5821000, Refund of Deposits, 5822000, Refund of Retainage Deposits. These should be reported as liability accounts for GAAP basis.
Determining Operating/Nonoperating Revenues/Expenses in Proprietary Funds 1.5.10 Updated the matrix for guidance on determining operating/nonoperating revenues/expenses
     
    Budgeting
Budget Adoption and Amendments 2.4.3 Updated the referenced RCWs and updated for any changes to RCWs
     
   

Accounting

Fund Types & Accounting Principles 3.1.1 Fiduciary funds – Added a reference to the new Determining Fiduciary Activities to be Reported in Custodial Funds
Fiduciary funds – Added a GASB 34, Paragraph 106 reference for capital assets reported in fiduciary funds
Capital Asset Management System Requirements 3.3.9 3.3.9.30 Clarified requirements for capitalization thresholds
Capital Asset Accounting 3.3.10 3.3.10.90 Clarified "placed in service" for definition
Pensions 3.4.2 Annual update for the DRS PEFI changes
OPEB 3.4.17 3.4.17.80 Updated the years in the Measurement date table
Asset Retirement Obligations 3.4.19 Created a new section for the accounting guidance for asset retirement obligations
Pollution Remediation 3.4.20 Created a new section for the accounting guidance for pollution remediation
Liquor Tax and Profits – Two Percent Substance Abuse Treatment Programs 3.6.8 3.6.8.10 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
Grants – Accounting 3.7.1 3.7.1 Updated references to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars
3.7.1.20 Included other federal financial assistance guidance
3.7.1.30 Removed reference to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
3.7.1.30 Added Identification of COVID-19 related awards requirements
3.7.1.41 Removed the Common Rule Administrative Requirements section
3.7.1.51 Removed the OMB Circular A-87 Cost Principals section
Unemployment and Deferred Compensation 3.8.1 3.8.1.100 Added requirements for reporting defined compensation plans.
Paths and Trails 3.8.10 Updated references to RCW
3.8.10.70 Updated references to reserved versus restricted
Overhead Cost Allocation 3.9.5 Updated references to RCW
3.9.5.80 Removed references to OMB Circular A-87
3.9.5.100 Removed references to OMB Circular A-87
Added an "Additional resources" section
Limitation of Indebtedness 3.10.5 Updated references to RCW
Created a Footnotes section
Transportation Benefit Districts 3.11.1 3.11.1.120 Changed a reference from a negative 3850000 code to a 5850000 code.
Added an Additional Resources section
     
   

Reporting

GAAP Reporting Requirements 4.1.1 4.1.1.210 Clarified the definition of "financially accountable"
4.1.1.220 Clarified the reporting of component units
Financial Reporting Entity Flowchart updated for determining fiduciary trust funds and defined compensation plans
Net Position 4.2.8 Clarified requirements for reporting and calculations of the components of net position
4.2.8.10 Created a downloadable worksheet for converting governmental fund balances to net position
Risk Pools – Statement of Net Position – Additional Reporting Instructions 4.3.4 Removed this section from proprietary fund financial statement section and created a new section for the additional reporting requirements for risk pools.
Determining Fiduciary Activities Reported in Custodial Funds 4.3.7 New section for determining fiduciary custodial funds
Schedule 09 4.8.3 Section number updated to 4.14.3 (from 4.8.3).
4.83.100 Updated information on reporting pension (264.30) and OPEB liabilities (264.40)
4.8.3.110 Updated the due date instructions to list I.D. Numbers that do not require a due date to be reported.
Schedule 16 4.14.5 Section number updated to 4.14.5 (from 4.8.5).
Annual update for SEFA requirements including updated notes and COVID-19/CARES Act reporting requirements.
Schedule 17 4.8.6 4.8.6.20 Updated reporting requirements for counties due to changes in RCW.
Schedule 21 4.8.9 4.8.9.20 Added information for the Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave self-insurance.
Note X – AROs Note X – Asset Retirement Obligations (ARO) Removed the accounting portion from the note. The accounting portion is now located in Accounting, Liabilities, Asset Retirement Obligations (AROs).
Note X – COVID-19 Note X – COVID-19 Pandemic Created a separate note for COVID-19 reporting requirements.
Note X – Deposits and Investments Note X – Deposits and Investments Reorganized and clarified reporting requirements.
Note X – Derivatives Note X – Derivatives Removed references to LIBOR.
Note X – Going Concern Note X – Going Concern Clarified reporting requirements and included reporting requirements for bankruptcy.
Note X – Pensions Note X – Pensions Annual update for the PEFI changes.
Note X – PFML Note X – PFML Required disclosure if a government is self-insuring the Washington Paid Family & Medial Leave.
Note X – Pollution Remediation Note X – Pollution Remediation Removed the accounting portion from the note. The accounting portion is now located in Accounting, Liabilities, Pollution Remediation.
Note X – OPEB No Qualifying Trust Note X – OPEB No Qualifying Trust Annual update to OPEB note disclosure requirements.
Note X – OPEB Qualifying Trust Note X – OPEB Qualifying Trust Annual update to OPEB note disclosure requirements.

Note X – Subsequent Events

Note X – Subsequent Events Removed reference to COVID-19 required note. There is now a separate note for the COVID-19 Pandemic.
     
    Online Filing
Online Filing Schedules Online Filing Schedules The templates for the online filing schedules have been updated for Fiscal Year 2020 reporting. Schedule templates updated are: Schedule 01, Schedule 16, Schedule 16 Notes, Schedule 21
Pension and OPEB Templates Pension/OPEB Templates Fiscal Year 2020 Pension and OPEB templates are being refreshed and will be available for download.
Online Filing Flag Descriptions Online Filing Flag Descriptions  Guide to Online Filing Flag Descriptions has been added to the Forms and Other Resources section of the BARS Reporting Templates page. 

BARS Alerts

01/13/2020Annual update, see changes below
04/21/2020Note X - Subsequent Events (COVID-19)
04/24/2020COVID-19 BARS Coding
10/01/2020CARES Act Grant Monies Expenditure Codes

Overview of Significant Changes – Applicable to the Reporting Year 2019

 Topic

 

Reference

 

Description of Changes

 

  

CHART OF ACCOUNTS

BARS Account Export 3952000, Compensation for Loss/Impairment of Capital Assets3952000, 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.
BARS Account Export3132700, Affordable and Supportive Housing Sales and Use Tax 3132700, Affordable and Supportive Housing Sales and Use Tax
A new BARS code 3132700 was assigned to code the sales and use tax authroized by the SHB 1406, Laws of 2019.
BARS Account ExportDepartment of Health supplementFor BARS codes 5620000
Added the link to the new Department of Health supplement for BARS codes 5620000 which provides the detailed codes.
BARS Account Export5100000 GuidanceBARS codes 5100000, General government function, these codes should only be used by cities, towns, and counties.
BARS Account Export5990000 GuidanceBARS 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.
Revenue/Expenditure Accounts Overview 1.3.10 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.
Object CodesRemoved the reminder that 2018 was the final year for use of object code 50.
General Ledger Accounts 1.2.30Updated the General Ledger Chart to match the Schedule 09 coding requirement and simplified other sections.
   
  

ACCOUNTING

Internal Control3.1.33.1.3.10 Updated information about the "Green Book."
3.1.3.30 Added information that states the SAO is not part of the internal control functions of a government.
3.1.3.40 Updated the five components of internal controls.
3.1.3.90 Updated information about the different areas that should be reviewed for creating internal controls.
Original Supporting Documentation3.1.43.1.4.10 Updated the link to the Local Government Records Retention Schedule.
Fund Types and Accounting Principles3.1.73.1.7.50 Added clarifying information about Debt service funds, Capital project funds, and Fiduciary funds.
Bank Reconciliations3.1.9New section on bank reconciliations.
Transportation Benefit Districts (TBD)3.11.13.11.1.70 Removed reference to object code 50 in reference to contract expenditure and updated to object code 40.
County's External Investment Pool3.2.2Counties - Rewrote the entire section for counties to report external investments in accordance with GASB 84.
Capital Assets Management System Requirements

3.3.9

3.3.9.40 Added information that is required to be recorded for each capital asset, and clarified some of the tracking system requirements.
County Auditor’s Operation and Maintenance Fund (Recording Fees)3.6.2Counties - 3.6.2.75 Added reference to RCW 36.22.240 and requirements.
Electronic Funds Transfer - Receipts3.6.6Removed "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."
Electronic Funds Transfer - Disbursement3.8.11Removed "signed" in 3.8.11.20 b. which now says "A file must be maintained of authorizations by payees who have therby agreed to have moneys added to their accounts electronically."
Electronic Funds Transfer - Disbursement3.8.11Added the fourth bullet in 3.8.11.30 which now says "Policies and procedures should be in place to validate these authorization to protect resources being transferred electronically."
   
  

REPORTING

GAAP Reporting Requirements4.1.14.1.1.210 Updated the guidelines for financial accountability.
Governmental Funds Financial Statements4.3.34.3.3.31 Added information about the category Classification of Fund Balances.
Fiduciary Funds Financial Statements4.3.5Counties - 4.5.5.53 Provided the guidance for counties reporting external investment pools.
Statement of Cash Flows4.5.130Updated the illustration - added a line for "other (payments)."
Required Supplementary Information4.7.10Clarified the RSI requirements.
Required Supplementary Information4.7.20Removed references to GASB 43 and 45 and replaced with GASB 74 and 75.
Required Supplementary Information4.7.340Other Postemployment Benefit (OPEB) Plan Schedules, 4.7.340 - 4.7.410 -
Updated the requirements to match GASB 74 and 75. Added links to the appropriate templates.
Expenditures of Federal Awards (Schedule 16)4.8.54.8.5.40 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.
4.8.5.50 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.
4.8.5.128 Revised the requirements for Disbursements to Subrecipients to "expended" rather than "paid."
4.8.5.130 Updated the exceptions for EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (CFDA 66.468) and Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CFDA 66.458).
4.8.5.230 Removed Note 8 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 from the SEFA Notes Template.
Note X - Deposits and InvestmentsInstructions to preparers, footnote 3 -
Included instructions for participants in investment pools.
Note X - External Investment PoolNew Note
Counties - Provided guidance for disclosing external investment pools.
Note X - Pension and /or OPEB Plans - Defined ContributionsAdded information that the requirement to report defined contribution plans is only when the government contributes.
Note X - Pension and /or OPEB Plans - Nongovernmental PlansAdded clarification on when to use the Nongovernmental Plans note.
Note X - Pension PlansAdded guidance for defined contribution pension plans when a government contributes.
Note X - SolvencyRisk Pools - Updated part B. of the note template regarding the requirements for health and welfare pools (joint pools).
   
  

ONLINE FILING

Schedule 01Red FlagsGovernments will receive a red flag if they report functional codes in custodial funds. Note only applicable 36X and 389/589 codes may be used.
Schedule 09263.93, Environmental liabilities Added 263.93 to the Schedule 09 codes for reporting Environmental liabilities (e.g. pollution remediation, certain asset retirement, etc.).
   

BARS Alerts

8/19/2019New BARS Code (This alert applies only to counties and cities)
3/5/2019Reporting of the USDA Federal Loans
8/1/2018BARS Manual Update - New Accounts and Changes to Object Code 50
3/21/2018Capital Assets Inventory in Counties
3/7/2018Tax Abatement information available on the DOR website (GAAP governments only)

Overview of Significant Changes – Applicable to the Reporting Year 2018

 

Topic

 

Reference

 

Description of Changes

 

  

CHART OF ACCOUNTS

BARS Account Export

3132500, Housing and Related Services Sale and Use Tax

New account for governments collecting sales and use tax as authorized in RCW 82.14.530.

BARS Account Export

3329330, Medical Transformation Demonstration

New account for revenues for Medicaid payments related to an implementation of the Transformation Plans. The addition was communicated on August 1, 2018 in BARS Alert

BARS Account Export

3329340, Ground Emergency Medical Transportation (GEMT) Payment Program

New account for revenues from Medicaid related to the GEMT program. The addition was communicated on August 1, 2018 in BARS Alert

BARS Account Export

3360211, County Fair Fund

Expanded definition to clarify use of this code.

BARS Account Export

3360700, PFD Lodging Tax Distribution

Code applicable only to Seattle and King County.

BARS Account Export

3432000, Television/Cable/Internet Sales and Services

Expanded the title and the definition to include internet services as authorized by Chapter 186, Laws of 2018.

BARS Account Export

3697000, Pension/OPEB Contributions

Revised title and definition to clarify use of this account for pension and OPEB related revenues only.

BARS Account Export

38110/38120, Interfund Loan Receipts

Removed these accounts since the loans are balance sheet transactions and their reporting on Schedule 01 was always optional.

BARS Account Export

51530, Legal Services

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 an audit 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.

BARS Account Export

58110/58120, Interfund Loan Repayments

Removed these accounts since the loans are balance sheet transactions and their reporting on Schedule 01 was always optional.

Object Codes

 

 

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.

   
  

ACCOUNTING

Fund Types and Accounting Principles

 

3.1.1

GASB Statement 84, Fiduciary Activities – the Statement is 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 [400] funds. There are no new reporting requirements and the update expands the current prescription.

Capital Assets Management

 

3.3.9

The update incorporates the changes to RCW 36.32.210 which removed the annual inventory requirement. The change was communicated on March 21, 2018 in BARS Alert.

Capital Assets Accounting

 

3.3.10

Based on additional research we made the following changes to clarify different areas related to capital assets:

  • Added guidance for options for accounting for replacements;
  • Moved all the guidance for componentization primarily to this section
  • Added GASBS 69 guidance;
  • Added GASBS 89 guidance;
  • Aligned useful life section with current GASB standards and terminology;
  • Clarified and expanded fully depreciated asset section;
  • Clarified and expanded group/composite depreciation section based on research and GASB codification guidance.

Capital Assets Accounting

 

3.3.10.50

Removed requirement to capitalize interests during construction. This is an early implementation of GASBS 89, Accounting for Interest Cost Incurred before the End of Construction Period which is applicable for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2019.

Refunding Debt

 

3.4.4.91

Added GASBS 86, Certain Debt Extinguishment Issues update regarding accounting and reporting when the debt is refunded with the government’s own resources.

Arbitrage Rebate

 

3.4.6.90

Removed requirement to capitalize interests during construction. This is an early implementation of GASBS 89, Accounting for Interest Cost Incurred before the End of Construction Period which is applicable for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2019.

Contingencies and Litigations

 

3.4.15

A new section was added to discuss and clarify concepts related to accounting and reporting of contingencies and litigations.

Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB)

 

3.4.17

The entire section was updated to implement GASBS 74 and 75. [The update contains also notes and RSI requirements.]

County Auditor’s Operation and Maintenance Fund (Recording Fees)

 

3.6.2

The section was updated to reflect the 2018 legislative changes in the amounts of collected surcharges.

ER&R

 

3.9.7

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.

Interfund Activities

 

3.9.8

Added a new section to provide a general overview of interfund transactions.

   
  

REPORTING

  

GASB Statement 84, Fiduciary Activities – the statement is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018; however we incorporated the required changes in this version of manual. The following sections were updated: 4.1.1.150 (removed due to the changes in reporting requirements for custodial funds and their impact on financial reports); 4.1.4.20, 4.3.1.40, 4.3.2.70, 4.8.3.50, and 4.9.140. These changes involved only a title change from the agency to custodial funds.

The most significant change involves changes in financial reporting and these are incorporated into 4.3.5, Fiduciary Funds Financial Statements.

Statement of Cash Flows

 

4.5.100

Removed requirement to capitalize interests during construction. This is an early implementation of GASBS 89, Accounting for Interest Cost Incurred before the End of Construction Period which is applicable for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2019.

Note 1 – Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Section 7

Removed requirement to capitalize interests during construction. This is an early implementation of GASBS 89, Accounting for Interest Cost Incurred before the End of Construction Period which is applicable for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2019.

Note X – Capital Assets

Subsection F, Interest Capitalization + Instructions [7]

Removed requirement to capitalize interests during construction. This is an early implementation of GASBS 89, Accounting for Interest Cost Incurred before the End of Construction Period which is applicable for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2019.

Note X – Long-Term Debt

 

Added reporting requirements of GASBS 88, Certain Disclosures Related to Debt, Including Direct Borrowings and Direct Placements. This Statement is applicable for reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2018.

Note X – Tax Abatement

 

Added link to the WA State Department of Revenue page containing information regarding state’s abatements. This update was communicated on March 7, 2018 in the BARS Alert.

Schedule 09

 

 

Clarified that the governments should be reporting both short- and long-term liabilities on the Schedule. Also added new ID. Numbers for registered warrants and lines of credits.

Schedule 16

 

4.8.5.60

4.8.5.120

4.8.5.130

4.8.5180

Note 4, Federal Loans

Revision reflect the clarification for reporting federal grants provided by federal agencies.

Remove discussion of ARRA grants.

The example of reporting FEMA grants was updated.

Updated for changes related to reporting the following grants: EPA Drinking Water (CFDA 66.468), Clean Water (CFDA 66.458), USDA Interim Financing (CFDA10.760) and (CFDA 10.766).

Revised rules for reporting grants with missing CFDA numbers.

Added sentence regarding interim financing.

Schedule 21

 

 

The Schedule was revised to provide relevant information needed in assessing and auditing governments’ risk management circumstances.

   
  

ONLINE FILING

Schedule 09

 

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.

   

BARS Alerts

7/20/2017 BARS Manual Update - Coding Marijuana Excise Tax Distribution (Cities/Counties Only)
3/14/2017 BARS Update - Reporting Court Related Agency Deposits and Remittances (Cities/Counties Only)
1/4/2017 BARS Manuals Update - 2017 Filing System Update
Overview of Significant Changes – Applicable to the Reporting Year 2017
Topic Reference Description of Changes
    CHART OF ACCOUNTS
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 3132400, Local Infrastructure Financing Tool (LIFT) Added a new account for revenues from the local sales and use tax dedicated for LIFT projects.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 3340370, State Grant from CRAB The title was changed to Rural Arterial Program (RAP).
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 3340372, CRAB Road Arterial – Projects The title was changed to County Arterial Preservation Project (CAPP).
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 335/336 The titles for both categories was revised to State Shared Revenues, Entitlements and Impact Payments.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 3360425, Foundational Public Health Services A new account was added for 2017 distributions from the DOH.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 3360642, Marijuana Excise Tax Distribution A new account was added for the distribution of the marijuana excise tax from the State.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 3421000, Law Enforcement Services The definition was expanded to include payments from the WASP for processing the sex and kidnapping offenders’ registration.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 3670000, Contributions and Donations from Nongovernmental Sources The definition was clarified regarding connection fees.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 379, Capital Contributions The definition was clarified regarding connection fees.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 395, Disposition of Capital Assets Added a clarification regarding use of the account in the proprietary fund.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 398, Insurance Recoveries The account was split into two 3981, Insurance Recoveries for cash basis governments and 3985, Insurance Recoveries for GAAP. The split was necessary to accommodate reporting by cash basis proprietary funds since the BARS codes in 370 series are not available to them. The revised account 3985 replaces the original 398 code.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 50138, Depreciation Depletion, Amortization – Combined Water/Sewer/Solid Waste Utilities Changed title to Depreciation, Depletion, Amortization – Combined Utilities to correctly reflect the RCW.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 50195, Depreciation Depletion, Amortization – Infrastructure Added new account 50195, Depreciation, Depletion, Amortization – Infrastructure to include depreciation related to parking facilities.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 51530, Legal Services 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 account will be required for 2018 reporting.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 51770, Unemployment Compensation Changed references to section of the BARS manual to correctly refer the current title (Payroll Accounting vs. Unemployment and Deferred Compensation).
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 51830, Maintenance/Security/Insurance/Janitorial Services Clarified the definition regarding property insurance.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 51863, General Grants and Financial Assistance to Other Governments Revised title to General Grants, Financial Assistance and Other Distributions to Local Governments.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 538, Combined Water/Sewer/Solid Waste Utilities Revised title and definition to correctly reflect RCW 54.16.300 (i.e., Combined Utilities).
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 562, Public Health The WA State DOH added additional detail accounts 562.11-562.15 for local governments subject to the DOH’s jurisdiction.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 593, Advance Refunding Escrow Added to the definition a reminder that this account should be reported also for proprietary funds.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 595, Roads/Streets and Other Infrastructure Added to the definition a reminder that this account should be reported also for proprietary funds.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 599, Payments to Refunded Debt Escrow Added to the definition a reminder that this account should be reported also for proprietary funds.
Account Structure 1.1.2 The section was revised to discontinue the old terminology regarding the seven-digit account codes (i.e., Prime, BASUB, etc.). The digits are now referred by their location within the code (i.e., first, second, etc.). This change was applied in all places in the BARS manual and the revised sections are not itemized in this listing.
Revenue/Expenditure Accounts Overview 1.3.10 The section was revised to discontinue the old terminology regarding the seven-digit account codes (i.e., Prime, BASUB, etc.). The digits are now referred by their location within the code (i.e., first, second, etc.).
     
    ACCOUNTING
Fund Types and Accounting Principles 3.1.1.60-3.1.1.80 These paragraphs were related to capital assets and were removed since the topics are covered extensively in Capital Asset Accounting (3.3.10).
Utility Tax Levies 3.2.6 The section is no longer needed since we do not prescribe the G.L. accounts. The section was replaced with accounting and reporting for the B&O tax related to utilities (Utility Tax, 3.6.13).
Capital Assets Accounting 3.3.10.80 Added a flowchart to determine if the expenditures should be capitalized.
Leases 3.4.1.10 Clarified in the bullet 2 that the future lease principal payments should be recorded as debt redemption rather than other financing uses.
Refunding Debt 3.4.4.120 Updated the bullet 2 regarding remaining prepaid insurance (GASBS 86, Certain Debt Extinguishment Issues).
Accounting and Reporting of Property Tax 3.5.2.30 The section was revised to better describe the reporting of property tax (no substantive change).
Diversion of County Road Property Tax 3.6.5.20 The BARS previous procedures were revised to better assist compliance with the provisions of the law.
Working Advances from DSHS 3.6.10 The section was revised to provide accounting requirements reflecting the current status of the advances from the DSHS.
Payroll Accounting 3.8.1 The title was change to Unemployment and Deferred Compensation to better reflect the content of this section. There are no changes in the prescription.
Loans   A new paragraph (3.9.1.30) was added. The paragraph discusses an issue of a government incorrectly using its own debt instruments as investments.
Voucher Certification and Approval 3.8.5 Updated the section to include electronic payments.
     
    REPORTING
GAAP Reporting Requirements 4.1.1 Flowchart and Notes to the Flowchart: The flowchart was updated to incorporate GASBS 80, Blending Requirements for Certain Component Units regarding situation when the government is the sole corporate member. Also, paragraph 12 was updated to incorporate the GASBS 85, Omnibus 2017 regarding blending component units with business-type activities.
BARS Reporting Requirements 4.1.2 The matrix of reporting requirements was updated to eliminate reporting Schedules 07 and 11.
Summary of Reporting Requirements 4.1.4 The Matrix of Statutory Reporting Requirements was updated to eliminate reporting Schedules 07 and 11.
Note X – Asset Retirement Obligations   A new note was added to meet the disclosure requirements of the GASBS 83, Certain Asset Retirement Obligations. Please note that the requirement is applicable for reporting years starting after June 15, 2018.
Note X – Deposits and Investments   The note was revised to make the disclosure easier by adding tables and additional samples of text. There are no substantive changes.
Note X – Long-Term Debt   Added additional instructions for preparers regarding disclosures when the debt is refunded with the government’s own resources. This addition incorporates the GASBS 86, Certain Debt Extinguishment Issues applicable for the year begining after June 15, 2017.
Note X – Tax Abatement   Added a matrix to summarize the disclosure requirements for governments’ own abatements and abatements of others. Also added discussion regarding disclosure when, regardless of a tax abatement agreement, the overall tax revenue is not reduced.
Schedule 01 4.8.1.50 Column 4 – clarified the instruction regarding reporting of revenues and expenses for proprietary funds.
Schedule 09   Added 4.8.3.71 and 4.8.3.81 regarding reporting loans with forgiveness clause.
     
    ONLINE FILING
Annual Street/Road Finance Report   The pilot project with DOT has been extended another year to explore the possibility of an alternative reporting process to the existing Street/Road Finance Report required to filed to DOT for cities and counties.
Fund Balance – Beginning Check   A minimum variance requirement within $1,000 added summarizing Schedule 01 funds reported.

BARS Alerts

4/21/2016 BARS Manual Update - Revisions to the Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards (SEFA/Schedule 16)
4/5/2016 BARS Codes for a New Distribution
2/10/2016 BARS Manual Update - Cash BARS only - Pension Accounting and Reporting
2/10/2016 BARS Manual Update - GAAP BARS only - Pension Liabilities
2/8/2016 BARS Manuals Update - BARS Coding of Miscellaneous Revenue
Overview of Significant Changes – Applicable to the Reporting Year 2016
Topic Reference Description of Changes
    CHART OF ACCOUNTS
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 31720, Leasehold Excise Tax The definition was updated to clarify that this tax can be imposed only by counties and cities and other governments receiving their share of this tax should code the proceeds to 337, Local Grants, Entitlements and Other Payments.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 31740, Timber Excise Tax The definition was updated to clarify that this tax can be imposed only by counties and other governments receiving their share of this tax should code the proceeds to 337, Local Grants, Entitlements and Other Payments.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 32180, Concessions A new account was added. This account should be used for revenues from awarding rights to use government’s property. Previously these proceeds were comingled with proceeds from an actual sales and coded to account 36280, Concession Proceeds and 36290, Other Rents, Leases and Concession Proceeds. Proceeds from governments own sales should be accounted for in 34170, Sales of Merchandise.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 32191, Franchise Fees and Royalties This account was updated to include royalty payments. Previously the royalties were accounted for in 36290, Other Rents, Leases and Concession Proceeds (e.g., property rights, etc.), 34790, Other Fees (e.g., publication royalties, etc.).
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 36210, 36230, 36240, 36250, 36260 These accounts were combined into 36200, Rents and Leases. This account is designed only for rentals and leases which are not a part of the governments’ principal operation [those rents and leases should be accounted in the appropriate 340s service and sales accounts]. The new section Determining Operating/Nonoperating Revenues/Expenses in Proprietary Funds provides guidance for classification of revenues/expenses as operating/nonoperating for the proprietary funds.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 36280, Concession Proceeds Account removed. For revenues from awarding rights to use government’s property use 32180, Concessions. Proceeds from governments own sales should be accounted for in 34170, Sales of Merchandise.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 362900, Other Rents, Leases and Concession Charges Account removed. The revenues should be accounted in 36200, Rents and Leases, 32191, Franchise Fees and Royalties 34170, Sales of Merchandise or other appropriate account.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 36850, Special Assessment- Operating The title was changed to Special Assessment – Service and the definition was updated. If the service assessments are related to the governments’ principal operations, they should be coded in 340s as proceeds from sales of goods and services.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 36910, Sale of Scrap and Junk The title was changed to Sale of Surplus and a definition was added.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 36950, Special Items The account changed to account 385, Special/Extraordinary Items to better reflect the substance of the transaction [i.e., special items should not be classified as revenue] The account can be also used for extraordinary items, and the title was adjusted to reflect this.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 380, Nonrevenues
  • The title of this section of the chart was changed to Other Increases in Fund Resources.
  • A new account 385, Special/Extraordinary Items was added [previously accounted for in 36950, Special Items – see above row for description].
  • The account 388, Prior Period Adjustments was changed to 38810 and account 38850, Cumulative Effect of Change in Accounting Principle(s) was added.
  • Accounts 386 (1), Agency Deposits and 389, Other Nonrevenues were pooled and rearranged into:
    • 38910, Refundable Deposits,
    • 38920, Retainage Deposits,
    • 38930, Agency Type Collections,
    • 38940, Agency Type Deposits,
    • 38960, Agency Type Interest Earnings, and
    • 38990, Other Custodial Activities.
These accounts are still optional for GAAP governments. [Updated the definition of these codes to clarify that they should be used for custodial activities only – to record receipts and disbursements from fiduciary funds as well as any custodial activity reported in other fund types. Subaccount detail allows for reporting by major types of custodial activities in order to provide further clarity, align with internal tracking of custodial balances and support analysis.] (1) The change applicable to the courts’ deposits and remittances was updated on March 14, 2017. The following BARS Alert was sent to all cities and counties at that time. The BARS codes for agency deposits/remittances were revised this year and BARS account 386/586 was replaced by several 389/589 accounts. However, the recent submissions of the Schedule 01 indicate that this change creates some confusion. To avoid further misunderstanding at this time the Online reporting system will accept court related deposits and remittances coded as 386/586. All other non-court items should be coded to appropriate 389/589 accounts. We have updated the summary of significant changes in the BARS manual.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 51170, Lobbying Activities New account. The lobbying services were excluded from account 51120, Advisory Services and are now reported separately.  [Lobbying expenditures are subject to specific compliance and reporting requirements, so governments need to separately track them. Also, the separation will allow cross-checking figure against PDC filings.]
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 531, Storm Drainage Utilities The account description was revised to ensure that this account is used only when a local government has a separate utility for storm drainage. The storm drainage projects that are an integral part of streets and roads should be accounted with transportation codes which are generally accounted for in governmental funds.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 580, Nonexpenditures
  • The title of this section of the chart was retitled to Other Decreases in Fund Resources.
  • A new account 585, Special/Extraordinary Items was added [previously accounted for in 36950, Special Items – see account 385 for description].
  • The account 588, Prior Period Adjustments was changed to 58810 and account 58850, Cumulative Effect of Change in Accounting Principle(s) was added.
  • Accounts 586 (1) and 589, Other Nonexpenditures were pooled and rearranged into:
    • 58910, Refunds of Deposits,
    • 58920, Refund of Retainage,
    • 58930, Agency Type Remittances,
    • 58940, Agency Type Disbursements, and
    • 58990, Other Custodial Activities.
These accounts are still optional for GAAP governments.
  • The change applicable to the courts’ deposits and remittances was updated on March 14, 2017. The following BARS Alert was sent to all cities and counties at that time.
The BARS codes for agency deposits/remittances were revised this year and BARS account 386/586 was replaced by several 389/589 accounts. However, the recent submissions of the Schedule 01 indicate that this change creates some confusion. To avoid further misunderstanding at this time the Online reporting system will accept court related deposits and remittances coded as 386/586. All other non-court items should be coded to appropriate 389/589 accounts. We have updated the summary of significant changes in the BARS manual.
Determining Operating/Nonoperating Revenues/Expenses in Proprietary Funds 1.5 A new section was added with a guidance regarding classification of revenues/expenses as operating or nonoperating. This section is applicable only to proprietary GAAP funds. It contains a discussion and a spreadsheet showing the BARS classification. The new section should help governments to resolve the discrepancy between operating/nonoperating categories in their financial statements and in the FIT presentation.
     
    ACCOUNTING
Capital Assets 3.4 Capital asset guidance that was previously split into nine different sections (3.3.1 – 3.3.7 and 4.2.5 – 4.2.6) were consolidated into three. While content has not fundamentally changed, most topics were updated and re-written to improve guidance and match the current environment and user needs. In particular, internal control guidance was expanded to help local governments with management of capital assets.
Deposits and Investments 3.2.1 Updated content to focus on an overview of requirements for deposits and investments and refer to the Office of State Treasurer’s Guide to Public Funds Investing for Local Governments publication for details.
Pensions – Application of GASB Statement 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions 3.4.2 The pension section has been updated for the second year of pension reporting.
    REPORTING
Liabilities (Schedule 09) 4.8.3.110 Added requirement for cities and counties to provide a BARS code for redemption and specific ID Numbers of debt related to streets/roads to accommodate the DOT Annual Street/Road Finance Report.
Note X – Self-insurance   The note was removed. The information required in this note is already provided in other risk management related disclosures.
Note X – Deposits and Investments   The note was updated to incorporate reporting requirements contained in GASB Statement 72, Fair Value Measurement and Application.
Note X – Pension Plans – Pensions Provided Through Certain Multiemployer Defined Benefit Pension Plans (nongovernmental Plans)   Added a new note required when a government participates in a nongovernmental pension plan (GASBS 78).
Note X – Pension Plans   The note instructions for local government plans that do not comply with GASBS 67/68 have been updated for the first phase of the implementation of GASBS 73.  The pension notes and RSI templates for both state sponsored and local sponsored plans have been updated with 2016 information. The GAAP-basis pension illustration spreadsheet has been significantly updated for year two reporting including note disclosure examples, amortization tables, and reconciliation examples.
Note X – Tax Abatement   This disclosure is required for fiscal years starting after December 15, 2015 (GASBS 77).
     
    ONLINE FILING
Annual Street/Road Finance Report   Steps added as a pilot project exploring an alternative to the DOT Annual Street/Road Finance Report.
591/594 in GAAP Enterprise Funds   Added validation checking each individual enterprise fund for reporting accounts 591, Debt Repayment and 594, Capital Expenses as indicated in these accounts description. Both accounts should be reported even if the dollar amounts are $0.
Balance sheet footing requirement   Section 4.8.1.25 adds balance sheet/statement of net position minimum variance requirements within $1,000. Validation tests each reporting fund.