End the Acronym - Fact Sheet

Who:

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), including all members, staff, industry partners, professional organizations, industry trade publications, and media.

What:

An intentional campaign to eliminate use of the four-letter acronym commonly used to reference the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

Why:

The acronym, when pronounced aloud, sounds the same as a highly derogatory term that causes great offense to international audiences, including long-term strategic organizational partners. The term in question has significant ties to Apartheid and is especially offensive to those of South African heritage. The term is used offensively in other countries as well.

 GFOA takes its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion seriously. With more than 21,000 members that serve diverse communities around the country and support strategic partners around the world (including the Chartered Institute of Government Finance Audit and Risk Officers in South Africa), GFOA has determined that the continued use of this acronym is in conflict with the organization’s core professional values.

When:

Effective immediately GFOA is asking all members, partners, and media to make a point of referencing the report by its full name or an alternative shortened reference that works for their organization.

 GFOA is not acting alone. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is in the process of reviewing the acronym and is likely to issue further guidance and may even implement a more formal name change later this year.

How:

In your day-to-day communication please refrain from saying the four-letter acronym out loud or using the four-letter acronym in writing. If your organization has historically used the acronym in formal archived documents, you do not need to reopen closed reports. Instead, GFOA has made available a statement that can be uploaded to websites to help those searching for the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report find historical reports and understand that as of March 9, 2021 reports should be searched by the official long-form name.


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