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The Audit Connection Blog

Results for: Local governments


New resource identifies best practices for small and attractive assets

May 29, 2018

Recently, the Performance Center provided several resources on accounting for capital assets to help local governments with financial reporting. Another group of assets, which fall below a government’s capitalization threshold, should also be considered when establishing and evaluating asset policies and other internal controls. In Washington, we frequently refer to these as “small and attractive assets,” but they these could be described using different terminology. For example, the Government Finance Officers Association refers to them as “controlled capital-type items” in its best practice guidance.

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Come try our new, improved Local Government Financial Reporting System

April 26, 2018

As a part of our continuing commitment to making information about local government operations around the state more transparent and accessible, we have updated the look and feel of our Local Government Financial Reporting System, or LGFRS. Our Office has long provided unaudited financial data filed by local governments on our website via LGFRS. This same tool has a new look and is now even easier to use and understand.

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When should I use enterprise funds?

April 20, 2018

Are you reporting your activities in the correct fund type? Local governments should analyze the services they are providing and determine if the fund types used are appropriate.

An enterprise fund is a fund that may be used to report any activity for which a fee is charged to external users for goods or services.  

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A first-ever comprehensive look at how Alternative Learning Experience programs work in Washington

April 11, 2018

In 2013, the Legislature asked us to review ALE programs by auditing their finances and measuring student outcomes. Since then, we’ve audited the compliance of every ALE program in the state with more than 10 full-time students. We’ve visited ALE programs in person, interviewed educators and surveyed students and parents. The reports released today meet the intent of the Legislature’s request.

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Local governments remain vulnerable to cyber attack: repost from the New York Times

March 29, 2018

As local governments in Washington and across the United States deal with increasingly sophisticated attacks aimed at bringing down vital government services residents depend on, the need for careful controls and cyber security measures grows ever more crucial. At the Office of the Washington State Auditor, one of the resources we provide local governments with is helping them increase their cyber security in anticipation of just such events as outlined in the New York Times below. Are you interested in learning more about how we can help? Click here to read cyber security resources.

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Hour glass and calendar concept for time slipping away for important appointment date, schedule and deadline

Annual reports deadline draws near

March 26, 2018

May is approaching quickly, and so is the annual report deadline for governments whose fiscal year ends December 31, 2017. These governments’ annual reports are due on
May 30, 2018. State law does not provide for any exceptions, so we are available to help you meet the deadline.

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Useful lives of capital assets: An important estimate

March 22, 2018

With the condition of infrastructure serving as a point of national discussion, useful life estimates for capital assets make for a timely accounting topic. Governments must maintain support for the useful life estimates they use for assets, and have a process to reassess the estimates periodically.

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Kenmore showcases love of community

March 16, 2018

At the Office of the Washington State Auditor, one of our primary functions is to evaluate the finances of governments across the state. But did you know that what we do goes beyond the bottom line, and into the very heart of what makes a government function well and connect to its residents? This emotional connection is what is at the heart of our newest video, “For the Love of Kenmore.” It’s about helping local governments in Washington find, as Kenmore City Manager Rob Karlinsey puts it, “value beyond the purely financial.”

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Additional Accountability Audits Funded by Legislature

March 9, 2018

Large state agencies will get more in-depth reviews and smaller agencies will get more frequent accountability audits thanks to a boost in funding included in the supplemental state budget approved Thursday.The Office of the Washington State Auditor requested an additional $700,000 to support accountability audit work, and the Legislature agreed. Accountability audits are a specific type of audit that evaluate whether there is reasonable assurance the state agency adhered to applicable federal or state laws, regulations and its own policies and procedures, in addition to accounting for public resources.

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