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BARS GAAP Manual

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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 Alloption 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 objects which are available in the BARS Manual. The reporting at the subobject level is not required.

This section was last edited by SAO on 01/03/19
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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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Fund Types and Accounting Principles

3.1 Accounting Principles and Internal Controls

3.1.1 Fund Types and Accounting Principles

3.1.1.10 The following principles of accounting and financial reporting are based on those set forth in the Governmental Accounting Standards Board’s (GASB) Codification of Governmental Accounting and Financial Reporting Standards. The BARS manual permits accounting and financial reporting that conforms to these principles in all respects and requires GAAP municipalities to account and report in conformity with these principles, except that the annual report required is not as extensive as the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

3.1.1.20 ACCOUNTING AND REPORTING CAPABILITIES

A governmental accounting system must make it possible both: (a) to present fairly and with full disclosure the funds and activities at the government in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles; and (b) to determine and demonstrate compliance with finance-related legal and contractual provisions.

3.1.1.30 FUND ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS

A governmental accounting system should be organized and operated on a fund basis. A fund is defined as a fiscal and accounting entity with a self-balancing set of accounts recording cash and other financial resources, together with all related liabilities and residual equities or balances, and changes therein, which are segregated for the purpose of carrying on specific activities or attaining certain objectives in accordance with special regulations, restrictions, or limitations. Fund financial statements should be used to report detailed information about primary government, including its blended component units. The focus of governmental and proprietary fund financial statements is on major funds.

3.1.1.40 TYPES OF FUNDS

In fund financial statements, governments should report governmental, proprietary, and fiduciary funds to the extent that they have activities that meet the criteria for using these funds.

Presented below is a system to classify all funds used by local government and the assignment of code numbers to identify each type of fund. A three digit code is used: the first digit identifies the fund type and the next two digits will be assigned by the governmental unit to identify each specific fund.

Governmental Funds

Code 000
General (Current Expense) Fund
– should be used to account for and report all financial resources not accounted for and reported in another fund.

Although a local government has to report only one general fund in its external financial reports, the government can have multiple general subfunds for its internal managerial purposes. These managerial subfunds have to be combined into one general fund for external financial reporting.

Code 100
Special Revenue Funds – should be used to account for and report the proceeds of specific revenue sources that are restricted or committed to expenditure for specific purposes other than debt service or capital projects. Restricted revenues are resources externally restricted by creditors, grantors, contributors or laws or regulations of other governments or restricted by law through constitutional provisions or enabling legislation (similar to restricted component of net position used in government-wide reporting). Committed revenues are resources with limitations imposed by the highest level of the government, and where the limitations can be removed only by a similar action of the same governing body. Revenues do not include other financing sources (long-term debt, transfers, etc.).

The term proceeds of specific revenue sources establishes that one or more specific restricted or committed revenues should be foundation for a special revenue fund. They should be expected to continue to comprise a substantial portion of the inflows reported in the fund. While GASB Statement 54 has not provided a numeric range for substantial portion of inflows, it was recommended that at least 20 percent is a reasonable limit for reporting a special revenue fund. Local governments need to consider factors such as past resource history, future resource expectations and unusual current year inflows such as debt proceeds in their analysis.

They may use the calculation below to determine whether an activity would qualify for reporting as a special revenue fund.

Other resources (investment earnings and transfers from other funds, etc.) also may be reported in the fund if these resources are restricted, committed, or assigned to the specific purpose of the fund.

Governments should discontinue reporting a special revenue fund, and instead report the fund’s remaining resources in the general fund, if the government no longer expects that a substantial portion of the inflows will derive from restricted or committed revenue sources.

The Statement requires all revenue to be recognized in the special revenue fund. If the resources are initially received in another fund, such as the general fund, and subsequently remitted to a special revenue fund, they should not be recognized as revenue in the fund initially receiving them. They should be recognized as revenue in the special revenue fund from which they will be expended. So, the local governments can either receive resources directly into the special revenue fund, or account for the resources as agency deposits in the receiving fund and, after remitting them, recognize them as revenue to the special revenue fund.

Special revenue funds should not be used to account for resources held in trust for individuals, private organizations, or other governments.

The general fund of a blended component unit should be reported as a special revenue fund.

The state statutes contain many requirements for special funds to account for different activities. The legally required funds do not always meet GAAP standards for external reporting. So, while the local governments are required to follow their legal requirements, they will have to make some adjustment to their fund structure for external financial reporting.

Code 200
Debt Service Funds
– should be used to account for and report financial resources that are restricted, committed, or assigned to expenditure for principal and interest. Debt service funds should be used to report resources if legally mandated. Financial resources that are being accumulated for principal and interest maturing in future years also should be reported in debt service funds. The debt service transactions for a special assessment for which the government is not obligated in any matter should be reported in an agency fund. Also, if the government is authorized, or required to establish and maintain a special assessment bond reserve, guaranty, or sinking fund, GASB Statement 6 requires using a debt service fund for this purpose.

Code 300
Capital Projects Funds
– should be used to account for and report financial resources that are restricted, committed, or assigned to expenditure for capital outlays including the acquisition or construction of capital facilities or other capital assets. Capital outlays financed from general obligation bond proceeds should be accounted for through a capital projects fund. Capital project funds exclude those types of capital-related outflows financed by proprietary funds or for assets that will be held in trust for individuals, private organizations, or other governments (private-purpose trust funds).

Code 700
Permanent Funds
– should be used to account for and report resources that are restricted to the extent that only earnings, and not principal, may be used for purposes that support the reporting government’s programs – that is for the benefit of the government or its citizens (public-purpose). Permanent funds do not include private-purpose trust funds which account for resources held in trust for individuals, private organizations, or other governments.

Proprietary Funds

Code 400
E
nterprise Fundsmay be used to report any activity for which a fee is charged to external users for goods or services. Enterprise funds are required for any activity whose principal revenue sources meet any of the following criteria:

  • Debt backed solely by a pledge of the net revenues from fees and charges.
  • Legal requirement to recover cost. An enterprise fund is required to be used if the cost of providing services for an activity including capital costs (such as depreciation or debt service) must be legally recovered through fees or charges.
  • Policy decision to recover cost. It is necessary to use an enterprise fund if the government’s policy is to establish activity fees or charges designed to recover the cost, including capital costs (such as depreciation or debt service).

These criteria should be applied in the context of the activity’s principal revenue source.

The term activity generally refers to programs and services. This term is not synonymous with fund. As a practical consequence, if an activity reported as a separate fund meets any of the three criteria, it should be an enterprise fund. Also, if a “multiple activity” fund (e.g., general fund) includes a significant activity whose principal revenue source meets any of these three criteria, the activity should be reclassified as an enterprise fund.

The determination of an activity’s principal revenue source is a matter of professional judgement. A good indicator of the activity’s significance may be comparing pledged revenues or fees and charges to total revenue. For example, consider a county auditor’s office that charges fees to provide a payroll service to various taxing districts. Even if the fee is meant to cover the cost of the service, the county auditor function as a whole is primarily supported with tax dollars from the general fund. It would be allowable in this case to leave the activity all within general fund.

Finding an appropriate fund type requires a careful analysis since there is not always a clear choice. For example, building permit fees may be accounted for in the general fund or a special revenue fund in certain circumstances, such as when they are partially supported by taxes. However, if there is a pricing policy to recover the cost of issuing those individual building permits, they should be reported in an enterprise fund.

In addition, GAAP mandate the use of enterprise funds for the separately issued financial statement of public-entity risk pools. Public-entity risk pools also are accounted for as enterprise funds when they are included within a sponsoring government’s report, provided the sponsor is not the predominant participant in the arrangement. Otherwise, they can use the general fund.

Separate funds should not be reported for bond redemption, construction, reserves, or deposits, for any utility that is accounted for on the full accrual basis, using either the BARS accounts or a nationally recognized utility chart of accounts such as FERC or NARUC. Separate funds should not be reported even though bond covenants may stipulate a bond reserve fund, bond construction fund, etc. The bond covenant use of the term fund is not the same as the use in governmental accounting. For bond covenants, fund means only a segregation or separate account, not a self-balancing set of accounts. (See account 150 in the general ledger chart of accounts.)

Code 500
Internal Service Funds
– may be used to report any activity that provides goods or services to other funds, departments or agencies of the government, or to other governments, on a cost-reimbursement basis. Internal service funds should be used only if the reporting government is the predominant participant in the activity. Otherwise, the activity should be reported in an enterprise fund.

Fiduciary Funds

Note: The new definitions of fiduciary funds per GASBS 84, Fiduciary Activities are required for reporting fiduciary activities in FY 2019 (i.e., reports submitted in 2020). Additional information regarding these changes is available here.

Code 600
Fi
duciary Funds – should be used to account for assets held by a government in a trustee capacity or as a custodian for individuals, private organizations, other governmental units, and/or other funds. These include (a) investment trust funds, (b) pension (and other employee benefit) trust funds, (c) private-purpose trust funds, and (d) custodial funds.

Code 600-609
Investment Trust Funds – should be used to report fiduciary activities from the external portion of investment pools and individual investment accounts that are held in a trust that meets the following criteria: the assets are (a) administered through a trust in which the government itself is not a beneficiary, (b) dedicated to providing benefits to recipients in accordance with the benefit terms, and (c) legally protected from the creditors of the government.

Code 610-619
Pension (and Other Employee Benefit) Trust Funds – should be used to report fiduciary activities for the following:

  • Pension plans and OPEB plans that are administered through trusts that meet the criteria in paragraphs 3 of GASB Statement 67 or paragraph 3 of GASB Statement 74, respectively.
  • Other employee benefit plans for which (1) resources are held in trust that meets the following criteria: the assets are (a) administered through a trust in which the government itself is not a beneficiary, (b) dedicated to providing benefits to recipients in accordance with the benefit terms, and (c) legally protected from the creditors of the government and (2) contributions to the trust and earnings on these contributions are irrevocable.

Code 620-629
Private-Purpose Trust Funds – should be used to report all fiduciary activities that (a) are not required to be reported in pension (and other employee benefit) trust funds or investment trust funds, and (b) are held in a trust that meets the following criteria: the assets are (a) administered through a trust in which the government itself is not a beneficiary, (b) dedicated to providing benefits to recipients in accordance with the benefit terms, and (c) legally protected from the creditors of the government.

Code 630-698
Custodial Funds – should be used to report all fiduciary activities that are not required to be reported in pension (and other employee benefit) trust funds, investment trust funds or private purpose trust funds. The external portion of the investment pools that are not held in trust that meets criteria listed above should be reported in a separate external investment pool fund column under the custodial funds classification.

Code 699
External Investment Pool Fund – The external portion of the investment pools that are not held in trust and meet criteria listed above. Although this is consider a custodial fund, it should be reported in a separate external investment pool fund column under the custodial funds classification.

NOTE: The custodial funds are required to be used by business-type activities and enterprise funds, if the assets, upon receipt, are normally expected to be held for more than three months.

3.1.1.50 NUMBER OF FUNDS

Governments should establish and maintain those funds required by law and sound financial administration. Only the minimum number of funds consistent with legal and operating requirements should be established. Using numerous funds results in inflexibility, undue complexity and inefficient financial administration.

Local governments should periodically undertake a comprehensive evaluation of their fund structure to ensure that individual funds that became superfluous are eliminated from accounting and reporting.

Elected officials should be educated to the fact that accountability may be achieved effectively and efficiently by judicious use of department, program and other available account coding or cautious use of managerial (internal) funds.

3.1.1.60 REPORTING CAPITAL ASSETS

A clear distinction should be made between general capital assets and capital assets of proprietary and fiduciary funds. Capital assets of proprietary funds should be reported in both the government-wide and fund financial statements. Capital assets of fiduciary funds should be reported only in the statement of fiduciary net position. All other capital assets of the government are general capital assets. They should not be reported as assets in governmental funds but should be reported in the governmental activities column in the government-wide statement of net position. The Capital Assets (3.3.9 - 3.3.11) sections of the BARS manual provide additional information regarding accounting and reporting of capital assets.

3.1.1.90 REPORTING LONG-TERM LIABILITIES

A clear distinction should be made between fund long-term liabilities and general long-term liabilities. Long-term liabilities directly related to and expected to be paid from proprietary funds should be reported in the proprietary fund statement of net position and in the government-wide statement of net position. Long-term liabilities directly related to and expected to be paid from fiduciary funds should be reported in the statement of fiduciary net position. All other unmatured general long-term liabilities of the governmental unit should not be reported in governmental funds but should be reported in the governmental activities column in the government-wide statement of net position.

MEASUREMENT FOCUS AND BASIS OF ACCOUNTING IN THE BASIC FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

3.1.1.100 Government-Wide Financial Statements

The government-wide statement of net position and statement of activities should be prepared using the economic resources measurement focus and the accrual basis of accounting. Revenues, expenses, gains, losses, assets, and liabilities resulting from exchange and exchange-like transactions should be recognized when the exchange takes place. Revenues, expenses, assets, and liabilities resulting from nonexchange transactions should be recognized in accordance with the GASB Statements 24 and 33.

3.1.1.110 Fund Financial Statements

In fund financial statements, the modified accrual or accrual basis of accounting, as appropriate, should be used in measuring financial position and operating results.

a. Financial statements for governmental funds should be presented using the current financial resources measurement focus and the modified accrual basis of accounting. Revenues should be recognized in the accounting period in which they become available and measurable. Expenditures should be recognized in the accounting period in which the fund liability is incurred, if measurable, except for unmatured interest on general long-term liabilities, which should be recognized when due.

b. Proprietary fund statements of net position and revenues, expenses, and changes in fund net position should be presented using the economic resources measurement focus and the accrual basis of accounting.

c. Financial statements of fiduciary funds should be reported using the economic resources measurement focus and the accrual basis of accounting, except for the recognition of certain liabilities of defined benefit pension plans and certain postemployment healthcare plans.

d. Transfers should be reported in the accounting period in which the interfund receivable and payable arise.

NOTE: The various fund types may be grouped in the following manner to more clearly portray their relationship to an accounting basis:

Flow of Current Financial Resources Measurement Focus Funds – use the modified accrual basis:

000

General (Current Expense) Fund

100

Special Revenue Funds

200

Debt Service Funds

300

Capital Projects Funds

700

Permanent Funds

Flow of Economic Resources Measurement Focus Funds – use full-accrual basis:

400

Enterprise Funds

500

Internal Service Funds

600-609

Investment Trust Funds

610-619

Pension (and Other Employee Benefit) Trust Funds

620-629

Private-Purpose Trust Funds

630-698

Custodial Funds

699

External Investment Pool Fund

3.1.1.120 BUDGETING, BUDGETARY CONTROL, AND BUDGETARY REPORTING

a. An annual/biennial budget should be adopted by every government.

b. The accounting system should provide the basis for appropriate budgetary control.

c. Budgetary comparison schedules should be presented as required supplementary information for the general fund and for each major special revenue fund that has a legally adopted annual/biennial budget. The budgetary comparison schedule should present both (a) the original and (b) the final appropriated budgets for the reporting period ad well as (c) actual inflows, outflows, and balances, stated on the government’s budgetary basis.

3.1.1.130 TRANSFER, REVENUE, EXPENDITURE, AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT CLASSIFICATIONS

a. Transfers should be classified separately from revenues and expenditures or expenses in the basic financial statements.

b. Proceeds of general long-term debt issues should be classified separately from revenues and expenditures in the governmental fund financial statements.

c. Governmental fund revenues should be classified by fund and source. Expenditures should be classified by fund, function (or program), organization unit, activity, character, and principal classes of objects.

d. Proprietary fund revenues should be reported by major sources, and expenses should be classified in essentially the same manner as those of similar business organizations, functions, or activities.

e. At a minimum, the statement of activities should present:

  1. Activities accounted for in governmental funds by function, to coincide with the level of detail required in the governmental fund statement of revenues, expenditures, and changes in fund balances.
  2. Activities accounted for in enterprise funds by different identifiable activities.

3.1.1.140 COMMON TERMINOLOGY AND CLASSIFICATION

A common terminology and classification should be used consistently throughout the budget, the accounts, and the financial reports of each fund.

3.1.1.150 ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORTS

a. General purpose external financial reports should be prepared and published. Governments engaged in governmental and business-type activities should include, at a minimum:

(1) Management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A).

(2) Basic financial statements. The basic financial statements should include:

  • Government-wide financial statements.
  • Fund financial statements.
  • Notes to the financial statements.

(3) Required supplementary information (RSI) other than MD&A.

Governments engaged only in business-type activities should present only the financial statements required for proprietary funds. They should include:

(1) Management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A)

(2) Proprietary fund financial statements consisting of:

  • Statement of net position
  • Statement of revenues, expenses, and changes in fund net position
  • Statement of cash flows

(3) Notes to the financial statements

(4) Required supplementary information (RSI) other than MD&A, if applicable.

b. The statements and reports listed above follow national standards of financial reporting. They should not be confused with legal reporting requirements, which are prescribed by the State Auditor’s Office for all local governments in Washington State. The legal requirements are consistent with these national standards, but they are not identical. Specific legal reporting requirements are contained in reporting part of this Manual.

c. A comprehensive annual financial report may be prepared and published, covering all activities of the primary government (including its blended component units) and providing an overview of all discretely presented component units of the reporting entity including introductory section, management's discussion and analysis (MD&A), basic financial statements, required supplementary information other than MD&A, combining and individual fund statements, schedules, narrative explanations, and statistical section. The reporting entity is the primary government (including its blended component units) and all discretely presented component units.

d. The financial reporting entity consists of (1) the primary government, (2) organizations for which the primary government is financially accountable, and (3) other organizations for which the nature and significance of their relationship with the primary government are such that exclusion would cause the reporting entity’ basic financial statements to be misleading or incomplete. The reporting entity's government-wide financial statements should display information about the reporting government as a whole distinguishing between the total primary government and its discretely presented component units as well as between the primary government's governmental and business-type activities. The reporting entity’s fund financial statements should present the primary government's (including its blended component units, which are, in substance, part of the primary government) major funds individually and nonmajor funds in the aggregate. Funds and component units that are fiduciary in nature should be reported only in the statements of fiduciary net position and changes in fiduciary net position.

e. The nucleus of a financial reporting entity usually is a primary government. However, a governmental organization other than a primary government (such as a component unit, joint venture, jointly governed organization, or other stand-alone government) serves as the nucleus for its own reporting entity when it issues separate financial statements. For all of these entities, the provisions the GASB Statement 14 should be applied in layers from the bottom up. At each layer, the definition and display provisions should be applied before the layer is included in the financial statements of the next level of the reporting government.

This section was last edited by SAO on 01/28/19
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Note 1 ‑ Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Note 1 ‑ Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

The financial statements of the (city/county/district) have been prepared in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) as applied to governmental units. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is the accepted standard setting body for establishing governmental accounting and financial reporting principles. The significant accounting policies are described below.

A. Reporting Entity

[1] The (city/county/district) was incorporated on (date) and operates under the laws of the state of Washington applicable to (type of the government).

As required by the generally accepted accounting principles the financial statements present (city/county/district), the primary government, and its component units. The component units discussed below are included in the (city/county/district) reporting entity because of the significance of their operational or financial relationships with the (entity type).

Individual Component Units Disclosures [2]

B. Basis of Presentation ‑ Government-Wide and Fund Financial Statements

The government-wide financial statements (i.e., the statement of net position and the statement of activities) report information on all of the nonfiduciary activities of the primary government (and its component units). Governmental activities, which normally are supported by taxes and intergovernmental revenues, are reported separately from business-type activities, which rely to a significant extent on fees and charges for support. (Likewise, the primary government is reported separately from certain legally separate component units for which the primary government is financially accountable.)

The statement of activities demonstrates the degree to which the direct expenses of a given function or segment is offset by program revenues. [3] Direct expenses are those that are clearly identifiable with a specific function or segment. Our policy is to (allocate/not to allocate) indirect costs to a specific function or segment. Program revenues include 1) charges to customers or applicants who purchase, use, or directly benefit from goods, services, or privileges provided by a given function or segment and 2) grants and contributions that are restricted to meeting the operational or capital requirements or a particular function or segment. Internally dedicated resources are reported as general revenues rather than program revenues. Taxes and other items not properly included among program revenues are reported instead as general revenues.

As a general rule the effect of the interfund activity has been eliminated for the government-wide financial statements. [4] Exceptions to this general rule are _______________________________.

Separate fund financial statements are provided for governmental funds, proprietary funds, and fiduciary funds, even though the latter are excluded from the government-wide financial statements. Major individual governmental funds and major individual enterprise funds are reported as separate columns in the fund financial statements.

The (city/county/district) reports the following major governmental funds: [5]

The general (or current expense) fund is the (city/county/district’s) operating fund. It accounts for all financial resources of the general government, except those required or elected to be accounted for in another fund.

The (city/county/district) reports the following major enterprise funds: [6]

Additionally, the (city/county/district) reports the following fund types: [7]

Internal service funds account for _________________ and __________________provided to other departments or agencies of the (city/county/district), or to other (cities/counties/districts), on a cost reimbursement basis.
The private-purpose trust fund is used to account for __________________________________.
The investment trust fund is used to account for ______________________________________.
The pension and other employee benefit trust fund is used to account for _________________.

C. Measurement Focus, Basis of Accounting

1. Government-Wide and Governmental Funds

The government-wide financial statements are reported using the economic resources measurement focus and the accrual basis of accounting, similar to the proprietary fund and fiduciary fund financial statements. Revenues are recorded when earned and expenses are recorded when a liability is incurred, regardless of the timing of related cash flows. Property taxes are recognized as revenue in the year in which they are levied. Grants and similar items are recognized as revenue as soon as eligibility requirements imposed by the provider have been met.

Governmental fund financial statements are reported using the current financial resources measurement focus and the modified accrual basis of accounting. Revenues are recognized as soon as they are both measurable and available. Revenues are considered to be available when they are collectible within the current period or soon enough thereafter to pay liabilities of the current period. For this purpose, the (city/county/district) considers revenues to be available if they are collected within (____) days of the end of the current fiscal period. The (city/county/district) considers property taxes as available if they are collected within 60 days after year end. Expenditures generally are recorded when a liability is incurred, as under accrual accounting. However, debt service expenditures, as well as expenditures related to compensated absences and claims and judgments, are recorded only when payment is due.

Property taxes, licenses, and interest associated within the current period are all considered to be susceptible to accrual and so have been recognized as revenues of the current fiscal period. Only the portion of special assessment receivable due within the current fiscal period is considered to be susceptible to accrual as revenue of the current period. All other revenue items are considered to be measurable and available only when cash is received by the (city/county/district).

2. Proprietary Funds

The (proprietary fund OR government-type if reporting stand-alone proprietary entity) statements are reported using the economic resources measurement focus and full-accrual basis of accounting. Revenues are recorded when earned and expenses are recorded when liability is incurred regardless of the timing of the cash flows.

Proprietary funds distinguish operating revenues and expenses from nonoperating items. Operating revenues and expenses generally result from providing services and producing and delivering goods in connection with a proprietary fund’s principal ongoing operations. The principal operating revenues of the (city/county/district) are (insert revenue types). [8] Operating expenses for the district include (e.g., the cost of sales and services, administrative expenses, depreciation on capital assets, etc.). All revenues and expenses not meeting this definition are reported as nonoperating revenues and expenses.

D. Budgetary Information

1. Scope of Budget

Annual appropriated budgets are adopted for __________ funds on the __________ basis of accounting. [9] Budgets for debt service and capital project funds are adopted at the level of the individual debt issue or project and for fiscal periods that correspond to the lives of debt issues or projects.

Other budgets are adopted at the level of the fund, except in the general (current expense) fund, where expenditures may not exceed appropriations at the department level and the budgets constitute the legal authority for expenditures at that level.

Appropriations for general and special revenue funds lapse at year-end (except for appropriations for capital outlays, which are carried forward from year to year until fully expended or the purpose of the appropriation has been accomplished or abandoned).

Encumbrances accounting is employed in governmental funds. Encumbrances (e.g., purchase orders, contracts) outstanding at year end are reported as reservation of fund balances and do not constitute expenditures or liabilities because the commitments will be reappropriated and honored during the subsequent year.

2. Amending the Budget

The (city manager/county auditor/finance director/mayor) is authorized to transfer budgeted amounts between (departments within any fund/object classes within departments); however, any revisions that alter the total expenditures of (a fund/the city/the county), or that affect the number of authorized employee positions, salary ranges, hours, or other conditions of employment must be approved by the (city/county) (council/commission).

When (city/county) (council/commission) determines that it is in the best interest of the (city/county) to increase or decrease the appropriation for a particular (fund/department/ object class), it may do so by (ordinance/resolution) approved by one more than the majority after holding public hearing(s).

The budget amounts shown in the financial statements are the final authorized amounts as revised during the year.

The financial statements contain the original and final budget information. The original budget is the first complete appropriated budget. The final budget is the original budget adjusted by all reserves, transfers, allocations, supplemental appropriations, and other legally authorized changes applicable for the fiscal year.

3. Excess of Expenditures over Appropriations [10]

4. Deficit Fund Net Position [11]

E. Assets, Liabilities, Fund Balance, Net Position

1. Cash and Cash Equivalents

It is the (city/county/district’s) policy to invest all temporary cash surpluses. At December 31, 20__, the treasurer was holding $ _____________ in short-term residual investments of surplus cash. This amount is classified on the balance sheet as cash and cash equivalents in various funds. The interest on these investments is prorated to the various funds or (if not prorated, explain the government’s unique circumstances).

The amounts reported as cash and cash equivalents also include compensating balances maintained with certain banks in lieu of payments for services rendered. The average compensating balances maintained during (year) were approximately $ _______________.

For purposes of the statement of cash flows, the (city/county/district’s) considers all highly liquid investments (including restricted assets) with a maturity of three months or less when purchased to be cash equivalents.

2. Investments See (Note X, Deposits and Investments). [12]

3. Receivables [13]

Taxes receivable consists of property taxes and related interest and penalties (See Note X, Property Tax). Accrued interest receivable consists of amounts earned on investments, notes, and contracts at the end of the year.

Special assessments are recorded when levied. Special assessments receivable consist of current and delinquent assessments and related interest and penalties. As of December 31, 20__, $_________ of special assessments receivable were delinquent.

Customer accounts receivable consist of amounts owed from private individuals or organizations for goods and services including amounts owed for which billings have not been prepared. Notes and contracts receivable consist of amounts owed on open account from private individuals or organizations for goods and services rendered. (Unbilled __________ service receivables are recorded at year end.)

4. Amounts Due to and from Other Funds and Governments, Interfund Loans and Advances Receivable

Activities between funds that are representative of lending/borrowing arrangements outstanding at the end of the fiscal year are referred to as either interfund loans receivable/payable or advances to/from other funds. All other outstanding balances between funds are reported as due to/from other funds. Any residual balances outstanding between the governmental activities and business-type activities are reported in the government-wide financial statements as internal balances. A separate schedule of interfund loans receivable and payable is furnished in Note X, Interfund Balances and Transfers.

Advances between funds, as reported in the fund financial statements, are offset by a fund balance reserve account in applicable governmental funds to indicate that they are not available for appropriation and are not expendable available financial resources.

5. Inventories [14]

Inventories in governmental funds consist of expendable supplies held for consumption. The cost is recorded as expenditure at the time individual inventory items are (purchased/consumed). The reserve for inventory is equal to the (average/ending) amount of inventory to indicate that a portion of the fund balance is not available for future expenditures. A comparison to market value is not considered necessary.

Inventories in proprietary funds are valued by the (FIFO/LIFO/weighted average) method (which approximates the market value).

6. Restricted Assets and Liabilities

These accounts contain resources for construction and debt service, including current and delinquent special assessments receivable, in enterprise funds. The current portion of related liabilities is shown as Payables from Current Restricted Assets. Specific debt service reserve requirements are described in Note X, Long-Term Debt.

The restricted assets of the enterprise funds are composed of the following:

Special Assessments ‑ Current

$ ___________

Special Assessments ‑ Delinquent

$ ___________

Cash and Investments ‑ Debt Service

$ ___________

Cash and Investments ‑ Construction

$ ___________

 

$ ___________

7. Capital Assets See Note X, Capital Assets.

Capital assets, which include property, plant, equipment and infrastructure assets [15] (e.g., roads, bridges, sidewalks, and similar items), are reported in the applicable governmental or business-type columns in the government-wide financial statements. Capital assets are defined by the (city/county/district) as assets with an initial, individual cost of more than $__________ and an estimated useful life in excess of ____ years. Such assets are recorded at historical cost or estimated historical cost if purchased or constructed. Donated capital assets are recorded at acquisition value at the date of donation.

Costs for additions or improvements to capital assets are capitalized when they increase the effectiveness or efficiency of the asset.

The costs for normal maintenance and repairs are not capitalized.

Major outlays for capital assets and improvements are capitalized as projects are constructed.

Property, plant, and equipment of the primary government, as well as the component units, is depreciated using the ___________________ method [16] over the following estimated useful lives:

Assets

Years

  
  
  
  

8. Deferred Outflows/Inflows of Resources [17]

9. Compensated Absences [18]

Compensated absences are absences for which employees will be paid, such as vacation (and sick) leave. All vacation and sick pay is accrued when incurred in the government-wide, proprietary, and fiduciary fund financial statements.

Vacation pay, which may be accumulated up to (maximum days or weeks), is payable upon resignation, retirement or death.

10. Pensions

For purposes of measuring the net pension liability, deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources related to pensions, and pension expense, information about the fiduciary net position of all state sponsored pension plans and additions to/deductions from those plans’ fiduciary net position have been determined on the same basis as they are reported by the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems. For this purpose, benefit payments (including refunds of employee contributions) are recognized when due and payable in accordance with the benefit terms. Investments are reported at fair value.

11. Other Accrued Liabilities

These accounts consist of accrued wages and accrued employee benefits.

12. Long-Term Debt See Note X, Long-Term Debt.

13. Unearned Revenues [19]

This account includes amounts recognized as receivables but not revenues in governmental funds because the revenue recognition criteria have not been met.

14. Fund Balance Classification [20]

15. Fund Balance Details [21]

16. Minimum Fund Balance [22]

F. Other

1. Stabilization Arrangements [23]

2. Miscellaneous [24]

3. (Special Purpose District Specific Disclosures)

Additional example disclosures for hospital districts and risk pools can be found here.

INSTRUCTIONS TO PREPARER

[1] For type of government describe the legal structure of the government (e.g., noncharter code city with a mayor-council form of government or first-class county with commissioner form of government or home-rule charter city with council-manager form of government) or the formation agreement (e.g., The Pool was formed under [describe the formation agreement]. Pool was established to provide [describe risk transference arrangement including the rights and responsibilities of the pool and pool participants].,etc.).

[2] Provide a brief description of component units and their relationship with the primary government. Discuss the criteria used to identify the component units and method used to present them (blended, discretely presented, or fiduciary) <1>. Provide sufficient detail to clarify the specific criteria under the GASB Statement 61 used to justify the inclusion of each individual component unit including both fiscal dependence and the ongoing relationship of financial benefit or burden. For blended component units, clearly state the blending criteria under the GASB Statement 61.

The following examples are intended to help you describe the government’s circumstances:

Blended component units

The (component unit) is governed by the (number)-member board appointed by the (city/county/district) board. Although it is legally separated from the (city/county/district) the (component unit) is reported as if it was part of primary government because its sole purpose is to finance and construct the (city/county/district) public buildings.

Discretely presented component units

The (component unit) provides ( ) services to the (city/county/district). The (city/county/district) annually provides significant operating subsidiaries to the (component unit).

The (component unit) operates (city/county/district) facilities. The (component unit) operating budget is subject to approval of the (city/county/district) board. The board also approves proposed capital improvements and additions to the (component unit) facilities.

Fiduciary component units

The (city/county/district) has following fiduciary component unit(s) . The data for this (these) unit(s) is (are) presented in the fiduciary financial statements.

If the major <2> component units are not presented in the financial statements <3>, the city/county/district should present the condensed financial statements of these component units here. (Non-major component units should be aggregated in one column.)

If the city/county/district chooses to present component units information in the notes, these details should be presented, at a minimum:

Condensed statement of net position:

  • Total assets – distinguishing between capital assets and other assets. Amounts receivable from the primary government or from other component units should be reported separately.
  • Total deferred outflows of resources.
  • Total liabilities – distinguishing between long-term debt outstanding and other liabilities. Amounts payable to the primary government or to other component units should be reported separately.
  • Total deferred inflows of resources.
  • Total net position – distinguishing between restricted, unrestricted, and amounts of net investment in capital assets.

Condensed statement of activities:

  • Expenses (by major functions and for depreciation expense, if separately reported).
  • Program revenues (by type).
  • Net program (expense) revenue.
  • Tax revenues.
  • Other nontax general revenues.
  • Contributions to endowments and permanent fund principal.
  • Special and extraordinary items.
  • Change in net position.
  • Beginning net position.
  • Ending net position.

Also, disclose (for each major component units) the nature and amount of significant transactions with the primary government and other component units.

Include information (addresses) where the complete financial statements of individual component units can be obtained.

List the related organizations (organizations for which the reporting entity is accountable because it appoints a voting majority of the board but is not financially accountable). Disclose the nature of city/town/district's accountability. The following example is intended to help you to describe the government’s circumstances:

The (city/county/district) is also responsible for appointing the members of the board of (organization name), but the accountability for this organization does not extend beyond making the appointments. In , the (city/county/district) appropriated operating grant of $ to the (organization name).

Also list the organizations that are excluded from the combined financial statements.

If there is significant (in relation to the total component units’ column) long-term debt of any component unit, the disclosure of the debt service requirements to maturity should be made.

Additional note disclosures may be needed if the accounting policies or the fiscal year of the component unit differ from those of the government.

If the government itself is a component unit, this note should identify the primary government and describe the nature of the relationship.

[3] The city/county/district is not required to allocate the indirect expenses to other functions. However, some cities/counties/districts may prefer to do so or use a full-cost allocation approach among functions. Some cities/counties/districts may charge funds or programs (through internal service funds or the general fund) for centralized expenses, which may include an administrative overhead component. Governments are not required to identify and eliminate these administrative charges, but they should disclose the policy for their allocation.

[4] The note should disclose how the government distinguishes overhead costs (which are eliminated in the process of consolidation) from interfund services provided and used between functions (which are not eliminated in the process of consolidation).

[5] List and describe major governmental funds. The description should be specific to the government rather than generic. Identify which revenues and other resources are reported in each major special revenue fund.

[6] List and describe all proprietary major funds. The description should be specific to the government rather than generic.

[7] Describe the activities of the internal service and applicable fiduciary fund(s). The description should be specific to the government rather than generic.

[8] Define the operating revenues and expenses. Additional special purpose district examples:

[Water/Sewer/Irrigation] Charges for providing ____________________ services. The District also recognizes as operating revenue (e.g., the portion of the top fees intended to recover the cost of connecting new customers to the system, etc.). [Housing Authority] Operating revenues result from fees and charges from providing services in connection with the ongoing operations of providing low income housing. Operating subsidies and grants are reported as non-operating revenues and are presented as cash flows from non-capital financing activities in the statement of cash flows. Operating expenses are those expenses that are directly incurred in the operation of providing low income housing.

[9] List the funds for which the city/county/district prepares budgets and the accounting bases used in these budgets. If the budgetary basis of accounting differs from GAAP, the notes should include reconciliation (if not presented on the face of the statements). The reconciliation should be sufficiently detailed.

[10] List the funds and amounts of overspending in the general fund and annually budgeted major special revenue funds. Also, explain how the expenditures were funded. You can provide this information either here or as a separate note <4>. (See Note X, Violations of Finance-Related Legal or Contractual Provisions.)

[11] If any of the funds of the city/county/district had deficit fund net position at the year end, disclose the amount of the deficit, reason for it, and the expected means of eliminating this deficit. You can provide this information either here or as a separate note. (See Note X, Violations of Finance-Related Legal or Contractual Provisions.)

[12] Disclose the following:

a. The methods and significant assumptions used to estimate the fair value of investments, if that fair value is based on other than quoted market prices.

b. The policy for determining which investments, if any, is reported at amortized cost.

c. For any investments in external investment pools that are not SEC-registered, a brief description of any regulatory oversight for the pool and whether the fair value of the position in the pool is the same as the value of the pool shares.

d. Any involuntary participation in an external investment pool.

e. If local government cannot obtain information from a pool sponsor to allow it to determine the fair value of its investment in the pool, the methods used and significant assumptions made in determining that fair value and the reasons for having had to make such an estimate.

f. Any income from investments associated with one fund that is assigned to another fund. See Sweeping Interest and Investment Returns into General Fund for legal requirements related to interest diversion.

For more details, see the GASB Statement 31 as amended by the GASB Statement 40.

For various risks related to the investments see Note X, Deposits and Investments.

[13] Disclose any asset valuation allowances for losses (e.g., on receivables) in government-wide and proprietary funds ( GASB Statement 62, Codification of Accounting and Financial Reporting Guidance Contained in Pre-November 30, 1989 FASB and AICPA Pronouncements, paragraph 33).

[14] If city/county/district holds inventories for the purpose of resale, it has to disclose that inventories are reported at lower-of-cost or market.

For the various classifications of inventory items, the basis upon which their amounts are stated and, where practicable, indication of the method of determining the cost, for example, average cost, FIFO, and LIFO should be disclosed for the business-type activities and proprietary funds. (See GASB Statement 62, Codification of Accounting and Financial Reporting Guidance Contained in Pre-November 30, 1989 FASB and AICPA Pronouncements, paragraph 210).

[15] The lack of or partial implementation of retroactive infrastructure reporting should be disclosed. When a change in retroactive infrastructure is implemented it is considered a change in accounting principle and must be disclosed in the accounting changes note.

[16] If city/county/district uses modified approach for reporting eligible infrastructure assets, then it should describe the approach (i.e., types of assets, etc.).

[17] Disclosure of different types of deferred outflows/inflows of resources is required only if the information is not displayed on the face of the financial statements.

In some situations, the amount reported for a component of net position (net investment in capital assets, restricted, and unrestricted) may be significantly affected by a transaction that has resulted in recognition of a deferred outflow of resources or deferred inflow of resources. If the difference between a deferred outflow of resources or deferred inflow of resources and the balance of the related asset or liability is significant, governments should provide an explanation of that effect on its net position in the notes to the financial statements.

[18] Only sick leave which is a part of retirement or termination benefit should be disclosed in this note (GASB Statement 16).

Describe the policy regarding sick leave. For example:

Upon resignation or retirement, any outstanding sick leave is lost.

If an employee terminates with at least ten years of service, he or she will be paid for sick leave balances up to thirty days, at one-half his or her final pay rate.

The (city/town/district) allows (unlimited/up to _____) accumulation of sick leave. Upon separation or retirement, employees do not receive any payment for unused sick leave. However, employees eligible for full retirement benefits may use their unused sick leave toward determining their length of service for purpose of determining their retirement benefits.

[19] The city/county/district may disclose the separate component of the liability for unearned revenue reported on the governmental funds balance sheet.

[20] City/county/district should disclose the following about their fund balance classification policies and procedures:

a. For committed fund balance: (1) the government’s highest level of decision-making authority, and (2) the formal action that is required to be taken to establish (and modify or rescind) a fund balance commitment.

b. For assigned fund balance: (1) the body or official authorized to assign amounts to a specific purpose, and (2) the policy established by the governing body pursuant to which that authorization is given.

c. For the classification of fund balances: (1) whether the government considers restricted or unrestricted amounts to have been spent when an expenditures is incurred for purposes for which both restricted and unrestricted fund balance is available, and (2) whether committed, assigned, or unassigned amounts are considered to have been spent when an expenditures is incurred for purposes for which amounts in any of those unrestricted fund balance classifications could be used. The disclosure is required even if there is no formal flow policy.

[21] If restricted, committed, or assigned fund balances are not presented in sufficient details on the face of financial statements, then the specific purposes (not functions) information should be disclosed in the notes. The two components of nonspendable fund balance (1) not in spendable form, and (2) legally or contractually required to be maintained intact should be disclosed in notes if displayed in aggregate on the face of financial statements.

[22] If a city/county/district has formally adopted a minimum fund balance policy, the city/county/district should describe the policy that sets forth the minimum amount.

[23] A city/county/district that established stabilization arrangements, even if an arrangement does not meet the criteria to be classified as restricted or committed, should disclose the following information:

a. The authority for establishing stabilization arrangements (for example, by statute or ordinance),

b. The requirements for additions to the stabilization amount,

c. The conditions under which stabilization amounts may be spent,

d. The stabilization balance, if not apparent on the face of the financial statements.

[24] Include other disclosure which may be necessary (e.g., comparative data column, reclassification of data etc.).

_____________________________________________________________________________________

<1> See GAAP Reporting Requirements for additional discussion.

<2> To determine if component unit is major look at its significant relationship to other component units and the nature and significance of its relationship to the primary government.

<3> Governments can present each major component unit in a separate column in the statement of net position and activities or include combining statements of major component units after the fund financial statements.

<4> Regardless of whether the government presents required budgetary comparison as a basic governmental fund financial statement or as RSI, the notes to financial statements should disclose any material violations of the budget.

This section was last edited by SAO on 01/23/19
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Table of Contents

Index of Sections

CHARTS OF ACCOUNTS 
BARS Account Export 
Object Codes1.4
Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Accounts Overview1.3
Determining Operating/Nonoperating Revenues/Expenses in Proprietary Funds1.5
General Ledger Accounts1.2
Account Structure 
Applicability1.1.1
Structure1.1.2
  
BUDGETING 
Budget Compliance 
Introduction2.4.1
Budget Adoption and Amendments2.4.3
Budget Process2.4.2
  
ACCOUNTING 
Accounting Principles and Internal Control 
Fund Types and Accounting Principles3.1.1
Internal Control3.1.3
Original Supporting Documentation3.1.4
Sources of GAAP3.1.2
  
Assets 
Compensating Balances3.2.5
Deposits and Investments3.2.1
Investment in County's External Investment Pool3.2.2
Joint Ventures3.2.8
Money Held in Trust3.2.4
Special Assessments3.2.7
Sweeping Interest and Investment Returns into County General Fund3.2.3
  
Capital Assets 
Capital Assets Accounting3.3.10
Capital Asset Management3.3.9
Controls over Capital Assets3.3.11
  
Liabilities 
Arbitrage Rebates3.4.6
Bonds and Revenue Warrants3.4.3
Financial Guarantees3.4.12
Issuance of Duplicate Instruments3.4.5
Leases3.4.1
Legal and Other Contingencies3.4.11
Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB)3.4.7
Pensions3.4.2
Refunding Debt3.4.4
Risk Management Principles3.4.9
Solid Waste Utilities: Closure and Postclosure Cost Accounting3.4.8
  
Deferred Outflows/Inflows 
Accounting and Reporting of Property Tax3.5.2
Classification of Deferred Outflows/Inflows of Resources3.5.1
  
Revenues 
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 for Substance Abuse Treatment Programs3.6.8
Prosecuting Attorney's Salaries3.6.12
Revenue Accruals in Governmental Funds3.6.9
Suspense Funds3.6.11
Utility Tax3.6.13
Working Advances from Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)3.6.10
  
Grants 
Grants Accounting3.7.1
Pass-Through Grants3.7.2
  
Expenditures 
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 Activities 
Interfund Activities Overview3.9.8
Equipment Rental and Revolving (ER&R) Fund3.9.7
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
  
Compliance 
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 Topics 
Transportation Benefit District (TBD)3.11.1
  
REPORTING 
Reporting Principles and Requirements 
GAAP Reporting Requirements4.1.1
BARS Reporting Requirements4.1.2
Summary of Reporting Requirements4.1.4
Certification4.1.3
GAAP versus Cash Reporting4.1.7
  
Government-Wide Financial Statements 
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 Statements 
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 Statements 
Instructions4.6.1
  
Required Supplementary Information (RSI)4.7
  
Supplementary and Other Information 
DES Schedule of Expenses - Risk Pools4.14.2
List of Participating Members - Risk Pools4.14.1
Liabilities (Schedule 09)4.8.3
Expenditures of Federal Awards (Schedule 16)4.8.5
  
SAO Annual Report Schedules 
Revenues/Expenditures/Expenses (Schedule 01)4.8.1
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
  
GFOA Financial Reporting Recognition Program4.9
This section was last edited by SAO on 01/23/19
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Overview of Significant Changes

BARS Alerts

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 they impact on CAFR); 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.

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

General Ledger Accounts

1.2

The following accounts were added to accommodate the accounting for pension: 193.50 [Pension Asset], 198.40 [Deferred Outflows: Pension], 264 [Pension Obligation (Net)], 271.80 [Deferred Inflows: Pension]. Reminder: the BARS numbering system in the general ledger is optional. The above codes are for informational purposes only.

The new revenue/expenditure/expense chart of accounts is an interactive application. To see accounts applicable to your government choose an appropriate government type.

Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account

30810/50810

30880/50880

The accounts 30810/50810 [Beginning/Ending Reserved Fund Balance (GAAP)] were changed to 30819/50819 [Beginning/Ending Restricted Net Position]. The accounts 30880/50880 [Beginning/Ending Unreserved Fund Balance (GAAP)] were changed to 30889/50889 [Beginning/Ending Unrestricted Net Position].

Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account

3086000

The account Net Investment in Capital Assets was added.

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].

Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account

8000000

New 800 series accounts - aggregated balance sheet information:

810 Cash, Cash Equivalents and Investments

820 Other Current Assets

830 Other Noncurrent Assets

840 Deferred Outflows

850 Current Liabilities

860 Noncurrent Liabilities

870 Deferred Inflows

were added for GAAP reporting governments.

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.

Pensions – Implementing GASB Statement 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions

3.4.2

This section discusses the new accounting and reporting requirements for single-employer and state sponsored pension plans mandated by GASBS 68. It also contains links to Excel spreadsheets containing instructions and examples of calculation of pension liabilities.

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.

Accounting and Reporting for Property Tax

3.5.2

This new section provides detailed guidelines for reporting property tax according to GASBS 65.

REPORTING

GAAP Reporting Requirements

4.1.1

The Financial Reporting Entity Flowchart (and accompanying notes) was updated to include relationships other the component units that would have an effect on reporting entity. The GAAP criteria for reporting of component units and other types of relationships did not change; however the new chart will better reflect the existing reporting requirements.

Proprietary Funds Financial Statements

4.3.4

There are no substantive changes in proprietary funds reporting. This section was reformatted to accommodate the inclusion of the stand-alone reporting guidance for ports, transits, PUDs, housing authorities, risk pools, hospital, water, sewer and irrigation districts.

Required Supplementary Information (RSI)

4.7.261-.267

Sections 4.7.260-.330 were replaced with new (GASBS 68) reporting requirements for pensions. The new sections contain links to Excel spreadsheets with examples of required schedules.

Notes to Financial Statements

The notes contain requirements for all different types of local governments. Some notes are applicable to all or most local governments. However some are unique to a very specific type of government. It’s the government responsibility to choose all applicable and necessary disclosures.

Note 1 – Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

The new paragraph regarding pension plan policy was added (E.10). Other than this addition, there are no substantive changes in this disclosure. This note was reformatted to accommodate the inclusion of the stand-alone reporting guidance for ports, transits, PUDs, housing authorities, risk pools, hospital, water, sewer and irrigation districts.

Note X – Long-Term Debt

The note was expanded to incorporate (if applicable) disclosures regarding loans with forgiveness clauses and grants with recoverable clauses.

Note X – Pension Plans

The note was updated to meet the GASBS 68 requirements. It contains links to the WORD version.

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 local 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.

BARS Alerts






Overview of Significant Changes – Applicable to the Reporting Year 2014

 

Topic

 

 

Reference

 

Description of Changes

CHART OF ACCOUNTS

Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account

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 Account

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 Account

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 Account

3360104

New account 3360104, Court Cost Reimbursement – Children’s Attorney was added.

Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account

3695000

Added a new account for special items.

Revenue/Expenditure/Expense Account

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

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.

Depreciation

3.3.6.15

The new paragraphs describe when the entity should start depreciating an asset.

Financial Guarantees

3.4.12

Added new section discussing financial guarantees (GASBS 70).

Imprest, Petty Cash and Change Funds

3.8.8.30

Imprest, petty cash and change funds are not budgeted because they represent working capital for expenditures that are properly budgeted in other funds. The authorized balance of imprest, petty cash and change funds should be reported as cash in the general ledger. Expenditures should be recorded when such funds are replenished to their authorized balance.

The authorized balance should be reported as cash in the financial statements. All funds should be reconciled and replenished to the authorized balance as of fiscal year end to ensure expenditures are recorded.

Reimbursements

3.9.4.20

Added reminder that the offsetting transactions for reimbursements should be done on an object level.

Overhead Cost Allocation

3.9.5.120

Added new section with additional resources.

Transportation Benefit Districts (TBD)

3.11.1

The new section provides an overview of the transportation benefit districts and the accounting and reporting requirements.

REPORTING

BARS Reporting Requirements

4.1.2.35

Added requirement to report any corrections made to already submitted financial statements.

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 the SAO web site and now is incorporated into BARS manual.

Note 1-Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (also Hospital Districts, Housing Authorities, Risk Pools, and Water, Sewer, and Irrigation Districts)

Added reminder for the disclosure of component units to provide sufficient detail to clarify the specific criteria under the GASBS 61 used to justify the inclusion of each individual component unit including both fiscal dependence and the ongoing relationship of financial benefit or burden. For blended component units, clearly state the blending criteria under the GASB Statement 61.

Note X-Changes in Long-Term Liabilities

Updated first column; removed references to unamortized amounts; added lines for premiums and discounts; added pension to OPEB obligations; similar changes were made for business-type activities; also; a row for claims was added. The footnote with examples of claims was added.

Note X-Commitments

This note was incorporated into Note X-Construction and Other Significant Commitments.

Note X-Construction and Other Significant Commitments

The note was expanded to include other commitments; the title was adjusted to reflect new content.

The note was added to the housing authorities, hospital and water, sewer and irrigation districts reporting requirements.

Note X-Pension Plan (Hospitals)

Added link to information in GAAP manual for defined benefit plans.

Note X-Major Component Units

This is not a new requirement; however the note was listed only in the housing authority section of the manual. The note is now available for all GAAP governments.

Note X-Other Debits (Credits)

Removed the note (GASBS 65, paragraph 29).

Note X-Other Disclosures

The most common disclosures were made into separate notes and only very rare transactions are disclosed here. The note has a new title Unique and Unusual Transactions.

Statement of Net Position

Example

Removed line Other Credits.

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

Risk Management (Schedule 21)

4.8.9

Added sample note disclosures for housing authorities (HARRP).

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.