Timeliness and transparency in government has become an important issue with so many governmental entities in such poor financial condition. Do you think that governments should have to create the CAFR on a quarterly basis and release it to the public? Why or why not?
Do the discussion first then response each posted below
The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) is an accurate and detailed document that provides a City’s financial condition and performance. It was designed to keep the City Council and citizens informed. I think that preparing CAFR’s on a quarterly schedule is a bit excessive and overwhelming. Brief and necessary updates throughout the year would suffice. There are so many fluctuations and adjustments made within a year, so it’s best to just consolidate them all. Plus it gives viewers to observe true results and provide realistic suggestions. Quarterly reports will increase frustration, confusion, and misinformation. Extended time gives the state more time to properly observe the responses to financial decisions and generate a detailed report. This does not dismiss timeliness and transparency as these two factors develop trust.
A Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) is one of two reporting requirements for governmental agencies. The CAFR is the equivalent to an annual report for for-profit organizations. It contains 3 sections:
- Introduction- giving general information
- Financial- providing the auditor’s report, MD&A, government-wide-financial statements, fund financial statements, notes to the financial statements, and other supplementary information
- Statistical- giving trend data and nonfinancial data (Wiley, 2022).
I do feel that the government should produce a CAFR quarterly because timeliness and transparency are two of the most important aspects in financial reporting. The public has the right to know the financial position of the government and that can change dramatically throughout the course of a year. Also, preparing a CAFR quarterly would give users of the report a chance to compare it to a report from 3 months prior rather than one year prior.
A CAFR, or Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, is a detailed presentation of the state’s financial condition. it’s broken down into three sections. The first section is an introduction with a transmittal letter. This is followed closely by the financial statement, which details auditor reports, government-wide financial statements, fund financial statements, required supplementary information, combining financial statements, and schedules. The final section is the statistical section that includes additional financial, economic, and demographic information.
Timeliness and transparency in government are extremely important, and for this reason, I do believe that governments should have to create a CAFR on a quarterly basis and release it to the public. There are many things that can and do happen in government that affects where the funds go. Some of these things include scandals, bribery, and corruption. a regular report of exactly how much money is used and where its used ensures transparency and allows the public to better understand what’s going on.