GFOA’s Code of Ethics requires finance officers to disclose the information that both local officials and the public need to fully understand the financial condition of their communities. It also emphasizes the importance of striving to produce timely information. This concept—that the timely disclosure of relevant information is crucial to a well-run local government—is part of GFOA’s core values, and it provides the foundation for our awards programs, advocacy work, and education.
Most people agree with this idea, but we can find ourselves disagreeing about the best path to get there. Many people think that our method of reporting, using the current generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), may not be the best way to achieve the objectives of transparency and accountability. This is backed by continued feedback from our members. The complexity of GAAP’s requirements, especially some of the recent changes, have led to additional time and effort, and many practitioners think this makes communication with the public and other key stakeholders more difficult.
- Publication date: October 2023
- Author: Chris Morrill