Accounting and Financial Reporting

Attention Required…STAT!

Page from February 2023 GFR

As most readers know, annual comprehensive financial reports (ACFRs) are composed of at least three sections: an introductory section, a financial section, and a statistical section, often referred to (affectionately, of course) as the “stat” section. The requirements for a statistical section are found in the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Codification of Governmental Accounting Standards Section 2800, “Statistical Section.”

The codification identifies the objectives of a statistical section as providing “… additional historical perspective, context, and detail to assist in using the information in the financial statements, notes to financial statements, and required supplementary information to understand and assess a government’s economic condition.” Codification Section 2800 is interesting in that it constitutes generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) that must be followed by governments “…that prepare a statistical section that accompanies the basic financial statements,” even governments that don’t prepare a full ACFR—although GAAP don’t require governments to prepare a statistical section in the first place!