Rethinking Financial Reporting

Local governments face declining trust, resource constraints, and increased risk. To address this, GFOA has launched the Rethinking Revenue and Rethinking Budgeting initiatives. This involves questioning current processes and their value.

We should also re-evaluate financial reporting to see if it meets current needs. Lengthy, technical reports published months later may not effectively build trust with citizens. Given limited resources, we must consider if finance officers' time is best spent on these reports or if other forms of decision support and public engagement would be more beneficial. Thus, we are launching “Rethinking Financial Reporting.”

Commitment to GAAP

GFOA’s commitment to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) remains iron clad, as the consistency and comparability GAAP reporting offers is the best way for governments to meet their obligations to be accountable for the public resources they use to fulfill their public service missions.  GFOA also supports financial reporting that is efficient and addresses the information needs of citizens, elected officials and other community stakeholders, and recognizes that current GAAP may not be the best way to achieve these objectives. 

Next Gen Financial Reporting

A vision to improve financial reporting for local governments using technologies like generative AI and other high-tech tools. View and provide feedback.

GovFi Prize

Funding for answering long-standing public finance questions. Click here to learn more.

Member Attitudes Toward Financial Reporting?

A recent survey shows how people who prepare Annual Financial Reports (AFRs) and those who use them view their value, timeliness, ease of understanding, and impact on decision-making. Preparers are more cautious about their value, while users see them as more useful. The paper also talks about audience priorities, the need for quicker report completion, simpler content, and better public engagement. The findings suggest improvements to make AFRs more effective and user-friendly for everyone.