Milestones for GFOA’s CAFR, Budget ProgramsThe GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting program has reached a major milestone – 4,000 submissions. It’s an impressive rate of growth, up from 800 submissions 20 years ago. This achievement is not just a proud achievement for the GFOA, but also an exceptional attainment for the many jurisdictions that demonstrate their commitment to going beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles and preparing comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure.
The City of Ketchikan, Alaska, was No. 4,000, for the fiscal year ending 2012. Ketchikan is a continuing participant; its first submission was for fiscal year end 1971. Since then, the city has received the CAFR award 35 times.
The Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program also hit a recent milestone: 1,400 submissions. That’s up from 200 in 1984. The GFOA congratulates all the jurisdictions that have proven their dedication to preparing budget documents of the very highest quality that reflect both the guidelines established by the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting and the GFOA’s best practices on budgeting.
The CAFR Program
The CAFR program has a high rate of participation by medium to large cities, counties, and the states.
Approximately 94% of cities, municipalities, villages, and townships with populations of more than 200,000 participate; 78.6% of cities with populations of more than 100,000; 66.7% of cities with populations of more than 50,000; and 55% of cities with populations of more than 25,000. Of counties, 78.6% of those with populations of 250,000 or more participate, and 46.6% of those with populations of 100,000-249,000. In all, 16.3% of U.S. counties participate in the program. And 42 states (including the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) – 81% – participate.
The GFOA established the CAFR Program in 1945. Reports submitted to the CAFR program are reviewed by selected members of the GFOA professional staff and the GFOA Special Review Committee, which is made up of individuals who have 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 2012 program results are for comprehensive annual financial reports for fiscal years that ended during calendar year 2011. The members of the Special Review Committee listed here are those who reviewed one or more of those reports.
The Budget Awards Program
The GFOA established the budget awards program in 1984. Documents submitted to the Budget Awards Program are reviewed by selected members of the GFOA professional staff and by outside reviewers with experience in public-sector budgeting.