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BARS Cash Manual

 

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 LGSCFeedback@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 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 07/30/19
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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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

This section was last edited by SAO on 01/23/19
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Voter Registration and Election Cost Allocation

3.8 Expenditures

3.8.12 Voter Registration and Election Cost Allocation

This guidance applies only to counties.

3.8.12.10 This interpretation establishes uniform procedures for allocating voter registration and election costs incurred by counties. These procedures are mandatory for elections held after January 1, 2010.

RCW 29A.04.410 Every city, town, and district is liable for its proportionate share of the costs. Special election costs must be borne by the city, town, or district concerned.

RCW 29A.04.420 The state should assume a prorated share of election costs when state officers or measures are voted upon at a state primary or general election held in an odd-numbered year under RCW 29A.04.321.

RCW 29A.08.150 The expense of registration in all rural precincts must be paid by the county. The expense of registration in all precincts lying wholly within a city or town must be paid by the city or town. Registration expenses for this section include both active and inactive voters.

RCW 29A.32.270 The cost of a local voters’ pamphlet shall be considered an election cost to those local jurisdictions included in the pamphlet and shall be prorated in the manner provided in RCW 29A.04.410.

A. Voter Registration or Election Costs to be Allocated

3.8.12.20 BARS account 51490P0 is prescribed for voter registration and voter precinct costs. Costs charged to this account must be specifically for voter registration purposes and will include proper object codes. Time records and other documentation must be maintained to support expenses allocated to voter registration costs.

3.8.12.30 BARS account 51440P0 is prescribed for election costs. Costs charged to this account must be specifically for election purposes and will include proper object codes. Time records and other documentation must be maintained to support expenses allocated to election costs.

3.8.12.40 Allowable costs that may be included for either voter registration or elections are:

1. Salaries and Wages (BARS Object 10)

Include all personnel costs, including salaries, wages, and overtime, for time specifically devoted to voter registration or elections. Personnel may include:

a. Permanent office staff
b. County auditor
c. Extra or temporary help
d. Paid election observers
e. Poll workers
f. Voting center workers
g. Security

Adequate records are to be maintained to support payroll charges.

2. Benefits (BARS Object 20)

Include those benefits associated with the salaries and wages identified above.

3. Supplies (BARS Object 30)

Include supplies for voter registration or an election (e.g., stationery, forms, cards, pencils, small items of equipment, items for repair and maintenance of equipment, etc.). The cost of large supply purchases should be apportioned between the elections and/or voter registration if benefited.

4. Services (BARS Object 40)

a. Communication – Charges for telephone and related costs associated with voter registration or elections.
b. Postage – Charges associated with voter registration or elections. Include postage for mailing ballots, letters, notices to voters, voter pamphlets, post office charges, and other mailings.
c. Transportation – Cartage for voting equipment, messenger service, and travel expenses including mileage allowances.
d. Advertising – Include the cost of publishing required notices, paid announcements, and voter outreach specific to an election or voter registration.
e. Printing and binding – Include the cost of printing materials used for voter registration or in an election. If the printing order is used for more than one election and/or voter registration, the cost should be apportioned between the elections or voter registration benefited.
f. Repairs and maintenance – Charges for repair and maintenance to election and voter registration equipment.
g. Rentals – Charges for rental of office space, storage spaces, vehicles, etc.
h. Training – Include in house training, workshops, conferences, and other educational opportunities.

5. Equipment (BARS Object 00)

Do not include charges for capital outlays. However, depreciation or use charges for such items as ballot tabulation equipment, accessible voting units, ballot sorters, voting center equipment, computers, printers, voter registration management systems, etc., are allowable. Charges must be based on rates that will result in a reasonable recovery of the original equipment over its useful life. Ledgers detailing historical cost, estimated salvage value, useful life, and accumulated charges should be available.

No depreciation or use charge is allowable where the 15 percent overhead factor is used or when grant funds were used to purchase the equipment.

Equipment replacement fees are not considered depreciation or use charges and may be included in the total costs for an election or voter registration.

6. Interfund Charges

Interfund charges are billed services from other county funds/departments. Charges must be consistent with those to other funds and departments.

Interfund charges directly attributable to an election or voter registration are considered direct costs and may be included in the total costs of an election or voter registration. Other interfund charges are not allowable where the 15 percent overhead factor is used.

B. Election Operations May Be Recorded in an Internal Service Fund

3.8.12.50 Election operations may be accounted for in an internal service fund or the general fund.

C. Overhead Is Allowable

3.8.12.60 Overhead or indirect costs attributed to the county auditor are allowable as determined by a federal indirect cost allocation plan. The plan must be prepared in accordance with the Uniform Guidance. Do not include any cost in the plan costs that are already included as an internal service fund charge.

3.8.12.70 In the absence of a federal cost allocation plan, or at the option of the county auditor, a flat 15 percent of adjusted general costs is allowable for overhead. Adjusted general costs are the total of salaries and wages, employee benefits, supplies, and other services and charges properly charged to the appropriate BARS account.

3.8.12.80 The 15 percent overhead factor is in lieu of interfund charges and depreciation. The factor may be used when accounted for in an internal service fund or the general fund.

D. Charge a Minimum Fee

3.8.12.90 The county auditor should collect a minimum fee of at least $50 from each jurisdiction. The fee will be used for all jurisdictions charged with voter registration/election costs and will be added after the allocation of costs.

E. The Method of Allocating Costs

3.8.12.100
1. Allocation of voter registration costs

a. Determine the total voter registration costs for the entire fiscal year. Include amounts from the federal indirect cost allocation plan only if not using a flat 15 percent overhead factor.
b. Subtract revenue attributable to voter registration services.
c. Subtract any direct costs associated with a specific jurisdiction.
d.Total the number of active and inactive registered voters for all jurisdictions.
e. Determine the number of active and inactive registered voters in each city/town. Subtract total active and inactive voters of every city/town from the total active and inactive voters (step 4) in the county voter registration rolls to obtain those voters under county jurisdiction.
f.Divide each jurisdiction’s number of active and inactive registered voters (step 4) by the total number of active and inactive registered voters (step 5) to yield a percentage cost factor.
g. Multiply the percentage cost factor (step 6) times the voter registration costs to determine each jurisdiction’s allocated cost.
h. Add any direct costs, and the 15 percent overhead factor, if applicable, to each jurisdiction’s allocated costs. This will give the total amount due from each jurisdiction.

3.8.12.110
2. Allocation of election costs

Two approved methods for allocating election and/or voter pamphlet costs are detailed below. A county, once having adopted a method of allocating election costs or voter pamphlet costs, should use the same parameters for all elections within the next election cycle.

Allocate costs between all jurisdictions participating in an election by using one of the two prescribed methods. The county will absorb costs allocated for federal offices, state offices and state issues whenever the state does not reimburse for these costs.

Only jurisdictions that participate in voter pamphlets will share those costs.

3.8.12.120
a. Method One

This method allows for recovery of additional expenditures associated with multiple offices or issues on the ballot for each jurisdiction. Use of this method requires selecting a factor to be applied to each additional office or issue within a jurisdiction. The factor must be between ranges of 0 to 0.2 and should represent the most accurate recovery of costs.

  1. Determine the total costs for an election. Include amounts from the federal indirect cost allocation plan, if applicable.
  2. Subtract a minimum service amount of at least $50 per jurisdiction and any direct costs associated with a specific jurisdiction, resulting in the election costs to be allocated.
  3. For each jurisdiction participating in the election determine the number of active registered voters.
  4. Determine the factor for the number of issues and offices for each jurisdiction. A base factor of 1.0 will be assigned for the first ballot issue or office for the jurisdiction. For each additional issue or office the selected factor will be added. For example in a county using 0.15, a city with 3 offices to be decided would have a factor of 1.3 (1.0+0.15+0.15).
  5. Multiply the issue and office factor (determined in step 4) times the number of active registered voters (determined in step 3). This will give a weighted registration factor.
  6. Total the weighted registration factors (step 5) for all jurisdictions.
  7. Divide the weighted registration factor (step 5) for each jurisdiction by the total weighted factor (step 6) to yield a percentage cost factor.
  8. Multiply the percentage cost factor (step 7) times the election costs to be allocated to determine each jurisdiction’s share.
  9. Add the minimum service amount, any direct costs, and the 15 percent overhead factor, if applicable, to the allocated election costs for each jurisdiction. This is the total amount due from each jurisdiction.

3.8.12.130
b. Method Two

This method allocates costs based on the number of registered voters in each jurisdiction. Jurisdictions are not charged for additional offices or issues placed on the ballot.

  1. Determine the total costs for an election. Include amounts from the federal indirect cost allocation plan, if applicable.
  2. Subtract a minimum service amount of at least $50 per jurisdiction and any direct costs associated with a specific jurisdiction, resulting in the election costs to be allocated.
  3. For each jurisdiction participating in the election determine the number of active registered voters.
  4. Total the number of active registered voters (step 3) for all jurisdictions.
  5. Divide each jurisdiction’s number of active registered voters (step 3) by the total number of active registered voters (step 4) to yield a percentage cost factor.
  6. Multiply the percentage cost factor (step 5) times the election costs to be allocated to determine each jurisdiction’s share.
  7. Add the minimum service amount, any direct costs, and the 15 percent overhead factor, if applicable to the allocated election costs for each jurisdiction. This is the total amount due from each jurisdiction.

F. Charge a Minimum Fee

3.8.12.140 The county auditor should collect a minimum fee of at least $50 from each jurisdiction. The fee will be used for all jurisdictions charged with election costs and will be added after the allocation of costs.

G. Account for Costs of Recounts Separately

3.8.12.150 When a recount is requested, the requestor is charged the cost of the recount. (See Chapter 29A.64 RCW.) Mandatory recount costs are billed to the affected jurisdiction as direct costs and should be shown separate from charges for other election costs. The fee collected is a charge for a service.

H. Effective Date

3.8.12.160 Effective for elections held after January 1, 2010.

I. Election Reserve Fund

3.8.12.170 As authorized by the RCW 36.33.200, the board of county commissioners may establish an election reserve fund for the payment of expenses of conducting regular and special state and county elections and compensation of election and registration officers and annually budget and levy a tax therefor. It may also make transfers into the election reserve fund from the current expense fund and receive funds for such purposes from cities, school districts and other subdivisions.

This section was last edited by SAO on 01/28/19
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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

4.1.5.10 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.

X Required to be prepared by cities and counties and submitted to the SAO.

4.1.5.20 The matrix on the following pages provides additional details regarding reporting requirements for governmental, proprietary and fiduciary funds.

Caution

4.1.5.30 Local governments with total revenues of $2 million or less are not required to prepare C-4 or C-5 statements unless debt covenants, a contract, a grantor or the city/county’s legislative body requires the city/county to prepare the financial statements or to receive a financial statements audit. If this request is made, 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 city/county in its fiduciary capacity. Local governments which choose not to prepare C-4 and C-5 statements must have their budgeted information available for the audit.

4.1.5.40 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.

4.1.5.50 FORMS

The templates for Online Filing for Schedules 01, 06, 09, 15 and 16 are available on the SAO Annual Financial Reports 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 in this Manual. 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.

4.1.5.60 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 required to 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.

4.1.5.70 FILING INSTRUCTIONS

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 e-mail the SAO HelpDesk through our Online Services.

If the city or county cannot provide the annual report in the electronic format it should mail it to:

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

4.1.5.80 CERTIFICATION

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

4.1.5.90 The following matrix describes required statements and schedules for cash basis cities and counties and the scope of each schedule.

Annual Report Disclosure Form
MCAG No. _______
(City/County)

(This form is NOT required if you are submitting the annual report electronically.)

Please check if the statements/schedules are attached. Use the column which is appropriate for your government type. If financial statements and/or Schedules 17 and 22 are 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.

______________________________________________________________________________________

[1] Cities and counties may choose to prepare the Schedule 06 in lieu of Schedules 07 and 11. This is an option for the reporting year 2017 and Schedule 06 will be required for the subsequent reporting periods.

[2] Cities with total revenues usually less than $300,000 are also required to submit an Assessment Questionnaire.

[3] 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.

[4] Only cities and counties with revenue of $2 million or more are required to prepare the financial statements. See Caution on a previous page.

[5] See BARS Manual for detailed instructions indicating which cities are required to prepare this schedule.

[6] Only cities with revenue usually less than $300,000 are required to prepare this schedule.

This section was last edited by SAO on 01/16/19
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Table of Contents

Index of Sections

CHARTS OF ACCOUNTS
BARS Account Export 1.4
Object Codes 1.3
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts Overview 1.1
General Ledger Accounts 1.2
Account Structure
Applicability 1.1.6
Structure 1.1.2
BUDGETING
Budget Compliance
Introduction 2.4.1
Budget Adoption and Amendments 2.4.3
Budget Process 2.4.2
ACCOUNTING
Accounting Principles and Internal Control
Fund Types and Accounting Principles 3.1.7
Internal Control 3.1.3
Original Supporting Documentation 3.1.4
Reserved and Unreserved Cash and Investments 3.4
Assets
Compensating Balances 3.2.5
Deposits and Investments 3.2.1
Money Held in Trust 3.2.4
Special Assessments 3.2.7
Sweeping Interest and Investment Returns into County General Fund 3.2.3
Capital Assets
Capital Assets Management 3.3.8
Liabilities
Accounting for LOCAL Program Financing Activities 3.4.11
Bonds and Revenue Warrants 3.4.3
Issuance of Duplicate Instruments 3.4.5
Other Post-Employment Benefits 3.4.16
Pension Liabilities 3.4.13
Refunding Debt 3.4.14
Solid Waste Utilities: Closure and Postclosure Cost Accounting 3.4.10
Revenues
Cash Receipting 3.6.1
County Auditor's Operation and Maintenance Fund (Recording Fees) 3.6.2
County Treasurer's Operation and Maintenance Fund 3.6.3
Criminal Justice Funding 3.6.4
Diversion of County Road Property Tax 3.6.5
Electronic Funds Transfer - Receipts 3.6.6
Liquor Tax and Profits - Two Percent for Substance Abuse Treatment Programs 3.6.8
Prosecuting Attorney's Salaries 3.6.12
Suspense Funds 3.6.11
Utility Tax 3.6.13
Working Advances from Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) 3.6.10
Grants
Grants Accounting 3.7.1
Pass-Through Grants 3.7.2
Expenditures
Confidential Funds (Drug Buy Money, Investigative Funds) 3.8.9
Electronic Funds Transfer - Disbursements 3.8.11
Employee Travel 3.8.2
Imprest, Petty Cash and Other Revolving Funds 3.8.8
Memberships in Civic and Service Organizations 3.8.13
Mobile Devices 3.8.3
Paths and Trails - Accounting 3.8.10
Purchase Cards 3.8.4
Redeemed Warrants/Cancelled Checks 3.8.7
Unemployment and Deferred Compensation 3.8.1
Use of Payroll and Claims Funds 3.8.6
Voter Registration and Election Costs Allocation 3.8.12
Voucher Certification and Approval 3.8.5
Interfund Activities
Interfund Activities Overview 3.9.8
Equipment Rental and Revolving (ER&R) Fund 3.9.7
Loans 3.9.1
Overhead Cost Allocation 3.9.5
Property Transfers 3.9.2
Reimbursements 3.9.4
Utility Surplus Transfers 3.9.3
Compliance
Bond Coverage for Public Officials and Employees 3.10.3
County Fair Operations 3.10.1
Limitation of Indebtedness 3.10.5
New Entity Creation and Dissolution Notification 3.10.6
Promotional Hosting 3.10.7
Public Works Records 3.10.4
Reporting Losses of Public Funds or Assets or Other Illegal Activity 3.10.2
Special Topics
Transportation Benefit District (TBD) 3.11.1
REPORTING
Reporting Principles and Requirements
Reporting Requirements and Filing Instructions for Cities and Counties 4.1.5
Reporting Requirements and Filing Instructions for Special Purpose Districts 4.1.6
Certification 4.1.3
GAAP versus Cash Reporting 4.1.7
Financial Statements
Fund Resources and Uses Arising from Cash Transactions (C-4) 4.3.12
Fiduciary Fund Resources and Uses Arising from Cash Transactions (C-5) 4.3.13
Notes to Financial Statements
Instructions 4.6.2
Supplementary and Other Information
Liabilities (Schedule 09) 4.8.13
Expenditures of Federal Awards (Schedule 16) 4.8.5
SAO Annual Report Schedules
Revenues/Expenditures/Expenses (Schedule 01) 4.8.1
Summary of Bank Reconciliation (Schedule 06) 4.8.17
Disbursement Activity (Schedule 07) 4.8.2
Cash Activity (Schedule 11) 4.8.4
Expenditures of State Financial Assistance (Schedule 15) 4.8.16
Public Works (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) (Cash) 4.8.14
This section was last edited by SAO on 01/12/19
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BARS Alerts & Overview of Significant Changes

Overview of Significant Changes – Applicable to the Reporting Year 2018

TopicReferenceDescription of Changes
  CHART OF ACCOUNTS
BARS Account Export3132500, Housing and Related Services Sale and Use TaxNew account for governments collecting sales and use tax as authorized in RCW 82.14.530.
BARS Account Export3329330, Medical Transformation DemonstrationNew 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 Export3329340, Ground Emergency Medical Transportation (GEMT) Payment ProgramNew account for revenues from Medicaid related to the GEMT program. The addition was communicated on August 1, 2018 in BARS Alert.
BARS Account Export3360211, County Fair FundExpanded definition to clarify use of this code.
BARS Account Export3360700, PFD Lodging Tax DistributionCode applicable only to Seattle and King County.
BARS Account Export3432000, Television/Cable/Internet Sales and ServicesExpanded the title and the definition to include internet services as authorized by Chapter 186, Laws of 2018.
BARS Account Export3697000, Pension/OPEB ContributionsRevised title and definition to clarify use of this account for pension and OPEB related revenues only.
BARS Account Export51530, Legal ServicesThe 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 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 Principles3.1.7The 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 [400] funds. There are no new reporting requirements and the update expands the current prescription.

Capital Assets Management3.3.8The 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.
Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB)3.4.16This 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. [This update provides also samples of disclosure regarding OPEB in the Reporting/Notes to Financial Statements section.]
County Auditor’s Operation and Maintenance Fund (Recording Fees)3.6.2The section was updated to reflect the 2018 legislative changes in the amounts of collected surcharges.
Federal Grants Received During the Open Period – Accounting3.7.3The section was removed since it conflicts with statutory restrictions regarding an open period.
ER&R3.9.7New 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 Overview3.9.8Added a new section to provide a general overview of interfund transactions.
   
  REPORTING
  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 4.1.5.90, 4.1.6.80, 4.3.13 (also includes the change in the pension trust fund title), 4.8.2.50, 4.8.4.30, 4.8.13.50, Note X- Deposits and Investments – paragraph [7]. These changes involved only a title change from agency to custodial funds.

Note 1 – Summary of Significant Accounting Policies A. Fund Accounting – revised first paragraph; added investment and pension/OPEB trust funds to listing of fiduciary funds.

 

C. Budgets – the budgetary section was extracted and added as a separate note since budgetary disclosure is not considered an accounting policy.

Note X – Fiduciary Activities 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 first time in 2018. If they reported them in 2017, the note is not longer required.
Note X – OPEB Plans A new reporting requirements regarding other than pension postemployment benefits (OPEB). Please see the Accounting/Liabilities/Other Postemployment Benefits section for more details.
Schedule 07 The local government should prepare either the Schedule 07, Disbursement Activity and Schedule 11, Cash Activity OR Schedule 06, Summary of Bank Reconciliation for 2018 annual report.
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 11 The local government should prepare either the Schedule 07, Disbursement Activity and Schedule 11, Cash Activity OR Schedule 06, Summary of Bank Reconciliation for 2018 annual report.
Schedule 164.8.5.60

 

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 regarding 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 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 3981 replaces the original 372 code.
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 1.14.10 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
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.
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 incorrectly using its own debt instruments as investments.
REPORTING
Reporting Requirements and Filing Instructions for Cities and Counties 4.1.5.10 The reporting matrix was updated to reflect optional reporting of the new Schedule 06.
Fiduciary Fund Resources and Uses Arising from Cash Transactions (C-5) 4.3.13.10, 4.3.13.40, 4.3.13.70 Adding a requirement for counties to include the special purpose districts on the statement C-5. Also, the format of the statement C-5 was changed. The fiduciary funds should be aggregated according to the fund type (i.e., pension, investment, private-purpose and agency funds plus total column). The instructions and the Online Reporting were updated to incorporate these changes.
Schedule 01 4.8.1.50, 4.8.1.70 Since a requirement for counties to include the special purpose districts on the statement C-5 was added, Schedule 01 has to include data for these districts. Column 4 – clarified the instruction regarding reporting of revenues and expenses for proprietary funds.
Schedule 06 Schedule 06, Summary of Bank Reconciliation was added. This Schedule is optional for cities and counties for reporting bank activities in the fiscal year 2017. Governments choosing to prepare Schedule 06 do not have to prepare neither Schedule 07 nor 11 for the 2017 fiscal year. Schedule 06 will be required schedule for reporting year ending December 31, 2018.
Schedule 07 Removing the requirement for this schedule, if the city/county choose to prepare Schedule 06.
Schedule 09 Added 4.8.13.71 and 4.8.13.81 regarding reporting loans with forgiveness clause.
Schedule 11 Removing the requirement for this schedule, if the city/county choose to prepare Schedule 06.
Note X – Pension Plans Additional column for employers’ contributions was added to the matrix.
Note X – Other Disclosures Added instructions for reporting special items, contingencies and litigations and government combinations.
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].
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 379, Capital Contributions The account was removed since the capital contribution category is not applicable to cash basis governments. System development fees should be accounted for in 367, Contributions and Donations from Nongovernmental Sources unless the related costs of the physical connections, etc. are reported as current period expense – then the systems development fees should be reported as operating revenue (340s).
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.
  • 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.
[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.
  • 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.
(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.
ACCOUNTING
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.
Pension Liabilities 3.4.13.30 The Cash-Basis Pension - Illustration 1 spreadsheet has been updated with the 2016 PEFI collective pension amounts.
REPORTING
Fund Resources and Uses Arising from Cash Transactions (C-4) 4.3.12 The titles of subcategories were revised and the two sections below revenues and expenditures were rearranged to provide greater clarity and state-wide comparability. Also, a link was added to the checklist for preparation of financial reports.
Note X – Pension Plans The pension note has been updated for the second year of pension reporting.
Liabilities (Schedule 09) 4.8.13.110 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.
Assessment Questionnaire (Schedule 22) For fiscal year 2016, all diking/drainage districts, cemetery districts, mosquito/pest/weed districts, TV reception districts and water conservancy boards are required to submit the Schedule 22.
ONLINE FILING
Annual Street/Road Finance Report Steps added as a pilot project exploring an alternative to the DOT Annual Street/Road Finance Report.

BARS Alerts

12/23/2015 BARS Manuals Update - 2016 Filing System Update
10/05/2015 BARS Manual Update - GAAP Cities, Counties and Special Purpose Districts - Upcoming Changes
9/30/2015 BARS Manuals Update - Cities and Counties Only - Cash Basis and GAAP - Marijuana Enforcement Code
3/11/2015 BARS Manuals Update - Cash BARS Only - Reserved and Unreserved Cash and Investments
1/6/2015 BARS Manuals Update - Online Filing System Update
Overview of Significant Changes – Applicable to the Reporting Year 2015
Topic Reference Description of Changes
CHART OF ACCOUNTS
The new chart of accounts is an interactive application. To see accounts applicable to your government choose an appropriate government type.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account 3132100 The account title was changed to Public Transportation Systems.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account 3322100 The account Equitable Sharing of Federally Forfeited Property was removed.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account 3350301 The account LEOFF Special Funding was added.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account 3360641 The account Marijuana Enforcement was added.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account 3451100 The detailed codes listed in the 3451100, Soil and Water Conservation Services are optional and not required to be reported on the Schedule 01.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account 3573900 The account Miscellaneous District/Municipal Court Cost Recoupment was removed.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account 3688000 The account Deferred Assessment was removed.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account 5010000 The account Depreciation was added.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account 51860 The account 51860 [Risk Management] was changed to 519; account 51920 [Judgements and Settlement] became 51861, account 51970 [Jobbing and Contacting] became 51862; added account 51863 [General Grants and Financial Assistance to Other Governments].
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account 5510000 The account 55920 [Public Housing] was moved to 5510000 [Public Housing Services].
Object Codes 00 The object 00 was updated to include account 501[Depreciation] and exclude account 508 [Ending Balances].
ACCOUNTING
Cash Receipting 3.6.1.50 Added new section discussing requirements when a local government receives payments through third party vendors.
Electronic Fund Transfer 3.6 The section was divided into two sections: one for receipts (3.6.6) and other for disbursements (3.8.11).
Voucher Certification and Approval 3.8.5 Added checks and electronic payments.
Grants – Accounting 3.7.1 This section was updated for the New Uniform Guidance. The following subsections contain new information: 3.7.1.10, .40, .50 and .60.
Pension Liabilities 3.4.13 This is a new section discussing the new reporting requirements regarding governments’ pension liabilities. The guideline contains a link to an Excel spreadsheet with calculation instructions.
Transportation Benefit Districts (TBD) 3.11.1.120 This new section discusses accounting and reporting requirements for cities and counties assuming the TBDs as authorized by the 2015 legislation.
Refunding Debt 3.4.14 This is a new section which discussed refunding debt. The guidelines include coding and reporting the transactions on the Schedule 09.
Accounting for LOCAL Program Financing Activities 3.4.11 This section was revised to provide better guidelines for accounting and reporting of LOCAL program. It does not contain new requirements, only clarifies existing instructions.
Utility Tax 3.6.13 This is a new section discussing accounting and reporting tax on utilities.
REPORTING
Supplementary and Other Information Schedules 09 (Liabilities) and 16 (SEFA), if applicable, are required from all local governments; however since they are an integral part of the audit reports they were moved from the SAO Annual Report Schedules category to Supplemental and Other Information category to properly align with the audit reports.
Revenues/Expenditures/Expense (Schedule 01) 4.8.1.25 Local governments completing the Schedule 01 for fiscal years ended on or after December 31, 2015 must ensure the data submitted is accurate. The Online filing system will calculate ending fund balances/net position using government-submitted information. If the SAO calculated ending balances/net position result in a variance from the local government’s submitted ending balances of greater than $1,000, the government will not be able to submit its annual report until corrected.
Liabilities (Schedule 09) Schedule 09 debt and liability IDs were changed from categorizing by fund type to categorizing based on obligation type (i.e., general obligations, revenue and other non-G.O. obligations and assessment obligations). The change allows for better alignment of categories with the debt limit calculation and avoids the need to allocate certain liabilities between different IDs in different categories. Since Schedule 09 uses general, revenue and assessment obligations as titles, the re-alignment will also improve the accuracy of this presentation. In addition, several ID numbers were added to facilitate calculation of debt limit and an ID number was also added for pension liabilities (264.30). Please review and update ID numbers.
Expenditures of Federal Awards (Schedule 16) 4.8 This is a transition year between the requirements of OMB Circular A-133 and the new Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards 2 CFR 200 (Uniform Guidance). This section has been updated for the new Uniform Guidance as it will be applicable for the majority of the BARS users, specifically those entities with a calendar year end. The effective date for the Audit Requirements, which include the SEFA requirements, of the new Uniform Guidance found in Subpart F of 2 CFR 200 is for fiscal years beginning after December 26, 2014. For those entities which the Audit Requirements of the new Uniform Guidance is not effective yet (fiscal years beginning prior to December 26, 2014), we left the references to the OMB Circular A-133 in parenthesis. Click here for the new Uniform Guidance. Also sections 4.8.5.125 and 126 were added and Question 2 was revised. Information for Schedule 16 was updated in the BARS Manual in the fall of 2015; however, several items were inadvertently missed in those updates. The changes, which were put into effect on April 20, 2016. Here are the changes to the SEFA, with corresponding information from the Uniform Guidance: Amounts passed through to subrecipients: Same information, but a location change. (b) Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards. ... At a minimum, the schedule must: (4) Include the total amount provided to subrecipients from each Federal program. Change: Therefore, a column is being added to the SEFA and input for these amounts, and the disclosure will not be needed. No additional information is being requested, since the pass-through information was previously reported in the notes. Use of de minimis indirect cost rate: Additional affirmative disclosure by governments. (6) Include notes that describe that significant accounting policies used in preparing the schedule, and note whether or not the non-Federal entity elected to use the 10% de minimis cost rate as covered in § 200.414 Indirect (F&A) costs. Change: The BARS Manual information for the SEFA notes has been updated, along with an instruction stating that it’s not an optional disclosure. Basis of Accounting note disclosure: (Minor change) Language was added to the sample note to recognize the fact that pre- and post-Uniform Guidance grants may have different bases for recognizing costs (i.e., cost principles). This disclosure will be needed during the transition period when a mixture of pre- and post-Uniform Guidance awards may be shown on the SEFA.
Risk Management (Schedule 21) Minor updates to add options and clarify questions encountered in practice.
Note X – Debt Service Requirements The reporting requirements changed from reporting by debt type to reporting principal, interest and total amount. Also, if applicable, local governments are required to provide disclosure regarding their refunding and debt guaranties activities.
Note X – Pension Plans The cash basis local governments are required to report their pension related liabilities in this new note and on their Schedule 09. The BARS manual in accounting part discusses the new pension accounting and reporting. It also contains a link to Excel spreadsheet with examples of calculation of these liabilities.
Questionnaire for Small Local Governments Accountability Audits (Schedule 22) 4.8.14 The Schedule 22 applicability expanded to include all cash-basis fire districts. Further, all conservation districts filing the Schedule 22 are required to submit the requested Schedule 22 attachments. Schedule 22 introductory training is provided via YouTube video, located here.

BARS Alerts

Overview of Significant Changes – Applicable to the Reporting Year 2014
Topic Reference Description of Changes
CHART OF ACCOUNTS
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts This Excel book contains three spreadsheets. The spreadsheets are different versions of the same BARS chart: Above&Prescribed contains all prescribed accounts (including grants) and summary accounts which are above prescribed level and indicate categories of revenues and expenditures; Prescribed_Only contains all prescribed accounts (including grants) but excludes summary accounts; Prescribed_NoFederal_Grants contains only prescribed accounts and exclude federal grants. These spreadsheets are just examples of different versions serving different purposes. You may reformat the chart of accounts similarly to meet your needs; however when reporting only valid prescribed accounts applicable to your entity type should be included on Schedule 01.
Account Structure 1.1.2.30 TheLocal Option field was removed from prescribed BARS code structure. The local governments can add additional digits for their internal purposes in any part of their BARS code; however when reporting to the SAO they have to follow the seven digit code requirement. The entire section was adjusted to reflect this update. The change does not have any impact on BARS coding since the removed fields were never prescribed.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts In previous versions we indicated unprescribed digit with an X. In the current chart of accounts the X was replaced with 0 which, except for two instances where is specifically designated (general fund number and object code for fund balances, nonexpenditures, and transfers-out) indicates unprescribed digit.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts Coding federal (direct - 331/indirect - 333), ARRA (direct - 3391/indirect - 3392), capital (direct – 374/indirect – 375) grants was simplified. The local governments have to use only first two digits of the CFDA for BARS coding. The BARS code still has to be seven digits long; however the last two digits are not prescribed.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 3360104 New account 3360104, Court Cost Reimbursement – Children’s Attorney was added.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 3695000 Added a new account for special items.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts 562 The description of the account 562, Public Health Services contains the link to the DOH listing of elements/subelements for this BARS code. The supplement is no longer listed with BARS manuals.
Object Codes The object codes are not listed together with revenues and expenditures. They are now listed in a separate section.
BUDGETING
The entire budgeting part of manual was replaced with new one. There are NO changes in requirements. The revision included removal of outdated or unnecessary prescriptions and adding statutory requirements for special purpose districts.
ACCOUNTING
Reserved and Unreserved Cash and Investments 3.1.8 Added new section discussing how to properly classified beginning and ending cash and investments. There is no substantive change to the classification. The new section provides only an expanded discussion of the classification. The section was added 03/10/2015.
Money Held in Trust 3.2.4 Updated the discussion of interest on deposits. Clarified the accounting requirements for Superior Court trust funds, emphasizing the need to reconcile accounts monthly.
Compensating Balances 3.2.5 Clarified the discussion of compensating balances and added informational links to MRSC and GFOA.
Accounting for LOCAL Program Financing Activities 3.4.11 Added guidelines for how to account for the LOCAL program.
Imprest, Petty Cash and Change Funds 3.8.8.30 Added that for financial reporting purposes, revolving funds should be reported at their authorized balance in whichever reported fund is predominately served by the account and expenditures should be recorded when submitted for replenishment. This reporting will match the reconciled balance of each revolving fund so long as replenishment is done at fiscal year-end as expected.
REPORTING
Reporting Requirements and Filing Instructions for Cities and Counties Reporting Requirements and Filing Instructions for Special Purpose Districts 4.1.5.60 4.1.6.60 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 required to 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.
GAAP versus Cash Reporting 4.1.7 The section discusses advantages and disadvantages of GAAP or cash basis reporting. This information was previously available on our website and now is incorporated into BARS manual.
Fund Resources and Uses Arising from Cash Transactions (C-4) Fiduciary Fund Resources and Uses Arising from Cash Transactions (C-5) 4.3.12.15 4.3.13.15 Added a requirement to update incorrect financial statements.
Note 1- Summary of Significant Accounting Policies The note was revised to conform to the reporting and auditing standards for cash basis entities. The local governments are required to follow the new format. This and other notes are available in the Reporting Templates.
Note X-Deposits and Investments The note was expanded to include deposits and different forms of investments. The local governments are required to follow the new format. This and other notes are available in the Reporting Templates.
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense (Schedule 01) 4.8.1.50 In Column 2 added that the government reports only one fund, it should indicate the fund type and use 0XX for the governmental fund and 4XX for the proprietary fund type.
Expenditure of Federal Awards and State Financial Assistance (Schedule 16) 4.8.5 The Schedule of State Assistance was excluded from the Schedule 16 and it became a separate Schedule 15. There are no changes in the reporting requirements for this Schedule. Adjustments related to split of the previous Schedule 16 into two schedules were carried through the Manual. The federal expenditures should be still reported on the Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards (Schedule 16). In addition to the requirement to submit a data collection form and reporting package to the Federal Audit Clearinghouse, governments are required to submit a copy of the reporting package to each pass-through entity per OMB Circular A-133 section .320 (e), which provides the results of the audit. As a courtesy, the SAO will distribute the reporting package to each pass-through agency listed on the SEFA if you will provide the following contact information:
  • Contact name
  • Contact email address
  • Contact phone number
Questionnaire for Small Local Governments Accountability Audits (Schedule 22) 4.8.14 The Schedule 22 was updated for 2015 to: improve specific targeting of questions to entities based on government type, eliminate questions that would normally be marked, “NA,” due to a previous question’s response, improve the ability to navigate the Schedule 22 and allow entities to upload requested supplemental attachments directly to the Schedule 22, when requested, within the online filing application. Additionally, our Office now offers guidance to all Schedule 22 questions, which is available by following the link located in the BARS manual Schedule 22 instructions.
APPENDICES
Glossary of Accounting Terms Removed the outdated glossary of accounting terms.
Overview of Significant Changes The listing of changes focuses only on significant ones; revisions which do not have a substantive impact on accounting or reporting are not listed.
 

This section was last edited by SAO on 01/01/70
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