The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR Program) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. The goal of the program is not to assess the financial health of participating governments, but rather to ensure that users of their financial statements have the information they need to do so themselves.
Reports submitted to the CAFR program are reviewed by selected members of the GFOA professional staff and the GFOA Special Review Committee (SRC), which comprises individuals with expertise in public sector financial reporting and includes financial statement preparers, independent auditors, academics, and other finance professionals.
Governments that participate in the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program are asked to submit their report within six months of the end of the fiscal year. The GFOA's review process typically requires an additional 4 to 6 months. Therefore, the 2017 program results are for comprehensive annual financial reports for fiscal years that ended during calendar year 2016.
- 2017 Program Results | For Fiscal Years Ended in 2016 (NEW)
- 2016 Program Results | For Fiscal Years Ended in 2015
- 2015 Program Results | For Fiscal Years Ended in 2014
- Special Review Executive Committee members
- Reviewers of 2016 Fiscal Year End CAFRs
Information for participants and potential participants:
- Details on how to become a Participant or Reviewer
- Eligibility Requirements
- How to Submit a Report
- Application form
- Requests for an extension of the submission deadline
- Judging Process
- Checklists - The general-purpose government checklist has been update through GASB Statement No. 86.
- General-purpose governments - New April, 2018
- The previous version of the general-purpose government checklist is referenced in comments on FY 2016 CAFR Reviews
- School districts
- Stand-alone business-type activities
- Postemployment benefit systems and investment pools
- Questions for the Actuarial Section of an OPEB Plan’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report - Please use this in place of the actuarial section of the above checklist only for the actuarial section of CAFRs for OPEB plans that have implemented GASB 74. An update of the entire checklist will be available shortly - NEW June, 2018.
Information for reviewers and potential reviewers:
- Electronic Vote Page for Special Review Committee Members (SRC)
- Eligibility requirements
- How to apply to be a reviewer
- Application form to become a reviewer
- SRC review guide for general-purpose governments (including special districts that use governmental funds)
- SRC review guide for school districts
- SRC review guide for stand-alone business-type activities (including individual enterprise funds and special districts that use enterprise funds exclusively)
- SRC review guide for pension and other postemployment benefit (OPEB) systems
- SRC review guide for cash and investment pools
- Reviewer Information
Dennis Kauffman, finance operations manager for the City of Sacramento, California, has participated in GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR Program) for nearly 30 years. Why? “We look at this as a best practice in the industry. It demonstrates our commitment to transparency and financial accountability,” says Kauffman.