The Latest Rules and Regulations That Impact Your Government Entity

Don’t Forget about your Retainages

Most companies have a variety of projects going on every year.  One of the things that is negotiated early in the process of creating a contract for a project is if a retainage will be built into the terms.  A retainage refers to a portion of the payment that is withheld until the project is …

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Self-Fulfilling Going Concerns

In this heated political environment combined with one of the largest recessions in a century, it is no surprise to find that governments are slashing budgets and will no doubt continue to cut programs across the country.  Recently we were on an audit of an entity that relied heavily on government funding for its programs, …

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What is the Appropriate Level of Cash Reserves?

That is a question that the management of many governmental entities asks. Governmental entities also have another layer of complexity in determining appropriate levels of cash reserves due to the fact that there are many different funds within a governmental entity. For example, a governmental entity may have General, Special Revenue, Debt Service, Capital Improvement …

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Improving the Financial Reporting Timeliness

The purpose of financial reports is to report an entities financial performance for a period and the financial status at a given point in time. In order for the information to be useful, it needs to reach the user in a timely manner. For many, the year process is a task that requires a lot of …

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There’s A Pocket Guide for That?

While trying to research something both useful and interesting for government clients, I came across a “Pocket Guide for Government Employees” entitled:  “Protecting Federal Tax Information. While the guide was primarily addressing the need for state tax agencies which receive federal tax returns and return information, it reminded me that now many cities, towns and …

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Governments and Business Entities

Can governments apply the accounting and financial reporting standards that business entities use? The simple answer is no.  Governments and for-profit entities are different in a variety of ways.  One of the biggest differences is the stakeholders, and how separate accounting and financial reporting standards are in place to provide the appropriate information to meet …

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Governments Get Special Treatment

Recently our audit team had been presented with an unusual circumstance regarding losses due to impairment of capital assets.  While performing research surrounding this situation I was reminded of the three different ways a governmental agency can present a loss due to impairment, one of which is different from that of a private entity. GASB …

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Government Asset Impairment Determination

According to GASBS 42: A capital asset is considered impaired if the following apply: 1.) The decline in service utility of the capital asset is large in magnitude and 2.) The event or change in circumstances is outside the normal life cycle of the capital asset. However, it is not necessary to repeatedly review all assets for …

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GASB 54, the Devil is in the Details

As most readers of this blog know by now, governmental entities are now required to adopt “Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement 54 (GASB 54) Fund Balance Reporting and Governmental Fund Type Definitions” for their Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) for the year ending June 30, 2011.  We at Henry & Horne are well into our …

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Two helpful QuickBooks tips to protect prior period data

It’s hard to deny how easy QuickBooks accounting software is to use. However, the very thing you love about the software can also be a source of trouble for you when it comes to certain activities. Because it is so easy to use, transactions can be changed easily, most times without thought to how these …

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