Filling the GAAP: Financial Reporting for Local Governments & Municipalities

Barsz Gowie Amon & Fultz partners with several local municipalities and government entities to help ensure their accounting and financial records and reporting measures are accurate, timely, and held to the highest compliance standards.

But how do other state and local governments find the accounting best practices that will help them stay committed to transparency and reliability?

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) suggests they follow generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS), and Government Auditing Standards (GAS). They urge state and local governments to fulfill their public financial reporting responsibilities as a baseline measure in the following ways:

  1. Conform with GAAP financial reporting guidelines by maintaining an accounting system that is adequate to provide all the data needed for timely financial statement preparation;
  2. Issue financial statements for the entire financial reporting entity in accordance with GAAP as part of a comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR); and
  3. Independently audit those financial statements in accordance with either GAAS or GAS, as appropriate.


GFOA also recommends that state governments create legislation that requires local governments to maintain an accounting system in conformity with GAAP, if feasible, and to have those financial statements independently audited in accordance with GAAS or Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS).

Contact us to see if this recommendation in accounting methods makes sense for implementation in your municipality.