Rethinking Financial Reporting

"Rethinking Financial Reporting" is a fact-based examination of the costs and benefits of the current model of financial reporting and how it can be improved.

In a time of decreasing trust in government, we should ask if lengthy, technical financial reports published many months in arrears are the most effective way to build trust with government’s most important constituency: citizens. In a time of declining resources, we should ask if the finance officer’s time is well spent producing these reports.

Additional Rethinking Elements

Upcoming Webinar

Join us as we discuss the Rethinking Financial Reporting initiative on Monday, July 15. Click here to register.

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. Click here to learn more.

Next Gen Financial Reporting

This report articulates a vision to improve financial reporting for local governments using technologies like generative AI and other high-tech tools. We have made this report available as an MS Word document and invite you to read, provide feedback, and suggest your own ideas. You can also add yourself to the list of contributors to the report. View more information and provide feedback.

GovFi Prize

The GovFi Prize offers funding for answering long-standing public finance questions. Many of these questions pertain to financial reporting. Click here to learn more.

Commitment to GAAP

GFOA is committed to accountability, consistency and comparability that GAAP reporting currently provides to state and local governments.  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 achieve these objectives.