COVID-19 Accounting and Reporting
COVID-19’s effect on local governments has also extended to certain BARS related items. The impacts have resulted in several BARS Alerts, delayed accounting and reporting requirements, and discussion regarding the May 29, 2020 annual report filing deadline. This page is intended to provide a summary of these items.
|On this page…|
|Accounting & Reporting Implementation Delays|
|Annual Report Filing Deadline|
|Subsequent Event Disclosure Information|
Accounting & Reporting Implementation Delays
The Cash BARS Manual has been impacted by the delayed accounting and reporting principals, established by the GASB and evaluated by the SAO for regulatory reporting requirements. The GASB approved the Postponement of the Effective Dates of Certain Authoritative Guidance Statement on May 7, 2020. Several required accounting and reporting principles that were updated in the BARS Cash Manual in January 2020 may now be postponed.
The GASB approved the Postponement of the Effective Dates of Certain Authoritative Guidance Statement on May 7, 2020. Several required accounting and reporting implementations dates may be postponed as a result of this new guidance.
Annual Report Filing Deadline
The annual report for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 is required by Friday, May 29, 2020 per RCW 43.09.230.
The State Auditor’s Office has been seeking an extension of the annual financial report filing deadline. While the Governor included the filing deadline extension in an emergency declaration, so far the Legislature has not taken the action needed to make that extension beyond the end of May (the current deadline was extended to May 31st). The State Auditor’s Office goal is to achieve an extension through the end of June.
The SAO, as well as several government associations have written to the Legislature regarding the proposed deadline extension. In the event a legislative extension is not achieved and your government will not meet the statutorily set deadline, you should document the challenges you faced and the reasons for the delay in filing your financial report. Documentation will be invaluable to our auditors in the future.
In the meantime, the SAO encourages all local governments to start the process of filing their annual report as staff are prepared to help you with any filing questions. Also, the About Filing Online page on our website can provide you access to helpful filing resources, including the library of annual online filing videos.
COVID-19 BARS Coding
The SAO issued a BARS Alert addressing BARS Coding for COVID-19 expenses and stimulus payments.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have effected the normal operations and expenses of many local governments. In addition to this, the federal government will be providing resources to local governments through the CARES Act and other similar provisions. The BARS Alerts, issued on April 24, 2020 address BARS Coding for federal stimulus monies and a statement on tracking expenses.
Click here for more information on the COVID-19 BARS Coding Alert.
Subsequent Event Disclosure Information
The BARS manuals require disclosures of particularly important subsequent events that arise between the financial statement date and the date the audit report is issued.
The GAAP BARS Manual Note X – Subsequent Events note was updated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cash BARS Manual Note X – Other Disclosures note was updated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please contact the SAO via the HelpDesk for assistance.