Published: March 12, 2020
Do you use a checklist to prepare or review your financial statements? If not, maybe you should! Checklists are a great way to make sure you remember important steps.
For cash basis governments, we recently refreshed our preparation and review checklist as an optional tool to help you review your financial reporting package. Be sure to check it out and use it to meet the May 29, 2020, reporting deadline!
For GAAP governments, we also refreshed our preparation checklist! Use it to start your own checklist or improve an existing checklist so that you remember all of the important steps needed to produce your annual financial reports. There are no requirements here, just options and ideas that you can modify to meet your needs, whatever they are!
If you are a GAAP government looking for a checklist to help you review the accuracy and completeness of your reporting package, then look to the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for some great resources. GFOA publishes checklists for those participating in its award program for financial reporting excellence. But did you know that anyone can use these checklists? They are available online at no cost. If you are not applying for the award, you would just complete the sections that apply to required reporting. GFOA has a separate checklist for general purpose governments, like cities and counties, and also one for stand-alone business type activities, such as for ports, public utility districts, or transit authorities. Check these out at www.gfoa.org/award-programs/certificate-achievement-excellence-financial-reporting-program-cafr-program.
And one last tip! Be sure to keep your completed checklists as evidence of all the great controls you have in place so that you can show your auditor. And we always suggest you complete your annual report as early as you can and file well in advance of the deadline!
If you have ideas for additional resources you would like, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at Center@sao.wa.gov with any ideas or feedback you might have.