Financial Reports

After achieving initial Accredited Agency status by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) in August of 2010, it was the recommendation of the CFAI that going forward, the Authority (District) prepare an Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) rather than merely the Annual Financial Report and Audit required under State Statute. It was further recommended that the Authority submit this ACFR for participation in the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Awards Program.

The GFOA created the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments in going beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare Annual Comprehensive Financial Reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. An ACFR is an annual financial report that contains three sections: 1) an introduction, 2) audited financial statements, and 3) extensive statistical data on the Authority, its partner agencies and the community.

Reports submitted to the ACFR program are reviewed by selected members of the GFOA professional staff and the GFOA Special Review Committee (SRC), which comprises individuals with expertise in public-sector financial reporting and includes financial statement reviewers, independent auditors, academics, and other finance professionals. Each ACFR is reviewed using a checklist designed to determine compliance with both generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and program policy as established by the GFOA’s Special Review Executive Committee and the GFOA Executive Board.

Reviews are performed by GFOA staff and members of the GFOA’s Special Review Committee, which comprises individuals from government, the public accounting profession, and academe who possess specialized expertise in governmental financial reporting, typically as a result of either preparing or auditing an ACFR that has received the Certificate of Achievement. Reviewers are never selected from the same state as the ACFR being reviewed or from the same firm that performed the independent audit.

A Certificate is awarded only if there is consensus among reviewers that an ACFR substantially complies with both GAAP and program policy. Failure to comply with any checklist item marked as “Mandatory” is considered, of itself, sufficient evidence to justify a determination that a ACFR has failed to substantially comply with both GAAP and program policy.

In order to be awarded a Certificate of Achievement, a governmental entity must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized ACFR. This report must satisfy both generally accepted accounting principles and applicable legal requirements. A Certificate of Achievement is valid for a period of one year only.

It is the intention of the Authority to continue to prepare and submit an annual ACFR for participation in this awards program. In doing so, the Authority will continue to meet the recommendations of the CFAI as an Accredited Agency and will continue to clearly communicate financial information of the highest quality and in the spirit of full disclosure to its community and motivate potential users and user groups to read the ACFR. 

Typically during the regularly Scheduled Governing Board meetings in January, the annual ACFR is presented to the Board of Directors for acceptance. The ACFR also contains the statutorily required external third party annual audit report. 

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