Comparing Actual Financial Results with the Legally Adopted Budget All three user groups in Visual Studio .NET

Maker Quick Response Code in Visual Studio .NET Comparing Actual Financial Results with the Legally Adopted Budget All three user groups
Comparing Actual Financial Results with the Legally Adopted Budget All three user groups
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are interested in comparing original or modi ed budgets with actual results to get some assurance that spending mandates have been complied with and that resources have been used for the intended purposes Assisting in Determining Compliance with Finance-Related Laws, Rules, and Regulations In addition to the legally mandated budgetary and fund controls, other legal restrictions may control governmental actions Some examples are bond covenants, grant restrictions, and taxing and debt limits Financial reports help demonstrate compliance with these laws, rules, and regulations Citizens are concerned that governments adhere to these regulations because noncompliance may indicate scal irresponsibility and could have severe nancial consequences such as acceleration of debt payments, disallowance of questioned costs, or loss of grants Legislative and oversight of cials are also concerned with compliance as a follow-up to the budget formulation process Investors and creditors are interested in the government s compliance with debt covenants and restrictions designed to protect their investment Assisting in Evaluating Ef ciency and Effectiveness Citizen groups and legislators, in particular, want information about service efforts, costs, and accomplishments of a governmental entity This information, when combined with information from other sources, helps users assess the economy, ef ciency, and effectiveness of government and may help form a basis for voting on funding decisions Assessing Financial Condition and Results of Operations Financial reports are commonly used to assess a state or local government s nancial condition, that is, its nancial position and its ability to continue to provide services and meet its obligations as they come due Investors and creditors need information about available and likely future nancial resources, actual and contingent liabilities, and the overall debt position of a government to evaluate the government s ability to continue to provide resources for long-term debt service Citizens groups are concerned with nancial condition when evaluating the likelihood of tax or service fee increases Legislative and oversight of cials need to assess the overall nancial condition, including debt structure and funds available for appropriation, when developing both capital and operating budget and program recommendations With the users and the uses of nancial reports clearly de ned, the GASB developed the following three overall objectives of governmental nancial reporting: 1 Financial reporting should assist in ful lling a government s duty to be publicly accountable and should enable users to assess that accountability by: a Providing information to determine whether current-year revenues were suf cient to pay for current-year services
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STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING
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b Demonstrating whether resources were obtained and used in accordance with the entity s legally adopted budget and compliance with other nance-related legal or contractual requirements c Providing information to assist users in assessing the service efforts, costs, and accomplishments of the governmental entity 2 Financial reporting should assist users in evaluating the operating results of the governmental entity for the year by providing information: a About sources and uses of nancial resources b About how the governmental entity nanced its activities and met its cash requirements c Necessary to determine whether the entity s nancial position improved or deteriorated as a result of the year s operations 3 Financial reporting should assist users in assessing the level of services that can be provided by the governmental entity and its ability to meet its obligations as they become due by: a Providing information about the nancial position and condition of a governmental entity Financial reporting should provide information about resources and obligations, both actual and contingent, current and noncurrent, and about tax sources, tax limitations, tax burdens, and debt limitations b Providing information about a governmental entity s physical and other non nancial resources having useful lives that extend beyond the current year, including information that can be used to assess the service potential of those resources c Disclosing legal or contractual restrictions on resources and risks of potential loss of resources In April 1994, the GASB issued Concepts Statement No 2, Service Efforts and Accomplishments Reporting, which expands on the consideration of service efforts and accomplishments (SEA) reporting included in Concepts Statement No 1 The GASB believes that the government s duty to be publicly accountable requires the presentation of SEA information Concepts Statement No 2 identi es the objective of SEA reporting as providing more complete information about a governmental entity s performance that can be provided by the operating statement, balance sheet, and budgetary comparison statements and schedules to assist users in assessing the economy, ef ciency, and effectiveness of services provided The Concepts Statement also indicates SEA information should meet the characteristics of relevance, understandability, comparability, timeliness, consistency, and reliability The GASB acknowledges the need for continued experimentation and development of SEA measures prior to the issuance of SEA reporting standards (c) SUMMARY STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES Because governments operate under different conditions and have different reporting objectives than commercial entities, basic principles applicable to government accounting and reporting have been developed These principles are generally recognized as being essential to effective management control and nancial reporting In other words, understanding these principles and how they operate is extremely important to the understanding of governments A governmental accounting system must make it possible to both (1) present fairly the nancial position and results of nancial operations of the government as a whole and of the funds and account groups of the governmental unit in conformity with GAAP, which include full disclosure, and to provide adequately the required supplementary information, including management s discussion and analysis (MD&A); and (2) determine and demonstrate compliance with nancerelated legal and contractual provisions The requirements concerning the government as a whole and MD&A were implemented in GASB Statement No 34, Basic Financial Statements and Management s Discussion and Analysis for State and Local Governments, issued by the GASB in June 1999
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