The Latest Rules and Regulations That Impact Your Government Entity

Proposed Future Changes to Operating Leases

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued a proposal last month that may change the way state and local governments report operating leases. The proposal is based on the concept that leases are a method of financing that gives governments the right to use an underlying asset. Even though there currently are disclosures in the …

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How a Few Internal Controls Could Have Stopped the Largest Municipal Fraud Ever

By now every good government accountant is well aware of the largest municipal fraud in American history. That is the fraud perpetrated at City of Dixon, Illinois, where the Comptroller for the City successfully misappropriated over $53 million in City funds using an elaborate scheme of transferring monies out of the Town’s Money Market account …

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Using QuickBooks? Did you review payables before the last check?

Newer versions of QuickBooks will open a dialogue box “Open Bills Exist” and older versions may tell if you have a payable due to a vendor when you are in the check writing window but this is easily overlooked. If you ignore the question and opt to select the “Continue Writing Check” button or you …

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Meeting Minutes – Why Bother?

Whether your organization is a for-profit, a non-profit corporation, a limited liability corporation, a partnership, or a governmental entity, chances are your state government requires that your organization hold periodic meetings. These meeting are recorded in a written form known as minutes. In the case of Arizona incorporated cities and towns, A.R.S. Title 9-234B states …

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Can a Government Capitalize the Cost of Developing Your Organization’s Website?

Absolutely! However, you must meet a few requirements in order to do so. According to Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 51 (GASB), “intangible assets are considered internally generated if they are created or produced by the government or an entity contracted by the government.” So, whether you have the IT department develop the website …

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Preparing a Simple and Effective MD&A

Preparing a Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) can be both difficult and time consuming for some people. However, it does not always need to be that way. The MD&A’s purpose is to provide an objective, easily readable introduction to the financial statements and assessment of the year-over-year financial position. The MD&A needs to be brief …

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Fraud Prevention for Public Officials

The Arizona Auditor General’s office recently issued the first part of a three part series fraud alert discussing what public officials can do to help prevent fraud within their organization. The fraud alert series will focus on the fraud triangle elements of opportunity, pressure and rationalization. The recently issued alert discusses the first element, opportunity, …

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Conflicts of Interest in School and Government Procurement

As many school district business personnel are aware of, Arizona State Statute 38-509 and Arizona USFR guidelines require each District to maintain a conflict of interest file disclosing substantial conflicts of interest with their employees and board members. However, this can be taken a step further to help protect a City, Town or School District …

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Closing and Locking a Period in QuickBooks

Have you ever mistakenly misdated a transaction in QuickBooks? Has your auditor ever asked you why equity did not match the prior year’s audited financial statements? Since QuickBooks does not require you to close your books after year-end, changing, adding, or deleting entries made in a prior fiscal year is a common mistake. So you …

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GASB 68 Deferred Employer Contributions to Pensions

Last month I discussed the timing of specific pension related dates in valuing, measuring and reporting your pension related amounts for the full accrual basis statements in accordance with GASB Statement 68. This month I am discussing the employer contributions to the plan, and how they should be reported for the full accrual based statements. …

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