Category: Accounting and Financial Reporting (page 1 of 3)

ARP Accounting and Financial Reporting in North Carolina

Accounting and financial reporting guidance for American Rescue Plan monies seems to be a never-ending soap opera with constant twists and turns.  While there is extensive GAAP-guidance for government mandated nonexchange transactions related to asset, liability, revenue, and expense/expenditure recognition, it has proven more challenging to readily fit all the square evolving ARP guidelines and options into the GAAP round holes.  This blogpost focuses on asset, liability, revenue and expense/expenditure recognition guidelines for the various ways that ARP funds may be received, managed, and expended.

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One Working Capital Management Strategic Tool: Interfund Transfers

By Michelle Lofton and Mikhail Ivonchyk

Working capital management is a managerial strategy that monitors and uses current assets (e.g., cash, accounts receivable, and inventory) and current liabilities (e.g., accounts payable and notes payable) to ensure smooth operations. The purpose is to maintain cash flows for liquidity to meet short-term operating expenses and obligations. This integral part of sound financial management uses a variety of strategic tools to manage cash flows. These can include the use of unrestricted cash, savings, interfund borrowing, interfund transfers, delaying payments, receivables, a line of credit, direct lending arraignments, and short-term debt. Yet, little academic research on governments has evaluated the process for selecting different tools, the policies governments have in place to implement them, and the consequences of using one tool over another.

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GASB Considers Delayed Implementation of Several Significant Standards

As a response to the current Covid-19 pandemic, on March 26, 2020, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) added a fast-track project to their agenda.  This project is a proposal to consider the delay of required implementation of pending statements and related Implementation Guide provisions that were initially set to be effective for fiscal years that begin on or after June 15, 2018.  This would encompass several significant statements such as GASB Statement No. 84, Fiduciary Activities, and GASB Statement No. 87, LeasesSpecifically, an Exposure Draft is expected in April with the final guidance anticipated in May.

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Registration for the NCGFOA Certified Finance Officer Exams on October 25 and 26 will opened today, Wednesday, October 17 at 8:00 a.m.  The following links are for instructions on the registration process and for the registration links page directly.  Please note that the School of Government has a new registration system and you may be required to create an account if you have not recently.  All of this information is in the instructions page.


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Budgeting in Local Government course: Registration now open

Budgeting in Local Government
November 6-9, 2018, School of Government

This four-day course covers the legal and management framework of budget preparation and enactment in North Carolina local government.  Participants will discuss the numerous processes and techniques used to produce an annual operating budget and capital budget.

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NCGFOA Finance Officer Certification Exams Schedule Update

As was announced in August, the first online offering for the NCGFOA Finance Officer Certification Exams was scheduled to be Thursday and Friday, September 27 and 28.  Given the widespread impact of Hurricane Florence and the demands that are going to be placed on management and finance officials over the next weeks and even months, the Certification Committee believed it best to postpone the first offering.  Also, the University has been closed since late last week and is now dealing with unexpected IT issues, thus this will give them time to approve the final platform, a task that was scheduled for this week.  The first online exams are now scheduled for Thursday, October 25 and Friday, October 26.  Afterwards, the online exams will be held on the final successive Thursday and Friday of January, May, and September each year.

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It’s the Lease of My Worries!

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) recently released GASB Statement No. 87, Leases. This project is a bit unusual in that it basically mirrors a similar recent project of the Financial Accounting Standards Board.  In the end, both the private sector and the public sector will be accounting for operating lease arrangements in basically the same way.  When implemented, this standard will change how the accounting and financial reporting is done for most operating lease arrangements, with very limited exceptions.  The standard will not affect, however, how capital lease arrangements are currently accounted for and reported.

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State Collection of County Financial Data Sources

By Zach Mohr and Madison Esterle

One of the fundamental problems for local government public budget and finance research in the United States is the availability of audited financial data in a format that is easy to collect and analyze. This is a problem for both researchers that are trying to assemble large data sets and for practitioners that live in states that do not have centralized collection of this data. It is also a problem for cross state data collection, which is quite common for local jurisdictions that live on the borders of states. Undoubtedly, there is much duplication of effort and a great need for local government financial information that is comparable for research and practice.

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What Fun Awaits?


The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) apparently never slows down!  The past several years have seen an explosion of activity that includes significant changes to governmental financial reporting – and there is MUCH more to come!  A future blog post will focus on the most recently approved pronouncement – GASB Statement No. 87, Leases, which provides guidance for lease contracts for nonfinancial assets, and is consistent with private-sector lease requirements recently approved by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). This blog post, however, is a quick peek into the current GASB agenda and the expected timelines for those projects.

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Introducing the 2017-2018 Finance Calendar of Duties

The UNC School of Government has just posted its most recent Local Finance Bulletin, the 2017-2018 Finance Calendar of Duties for City and County Officials, prepared by Gregory S. Allison.  This annual publication is a monthly guide for finance and budgeting officials on all statutory and regulatory reporting and administrative responsibilities.  The finance calendar has been a publication of the School of Government for decades and is an online, free resource for finance officers, budget officers, clerks, and other administrative officials.

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