Arkansas government accounting principles

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The Arkansas Division of Legislative Audit is responsible under the Legislative Joint Audit Committee (A.C.A. 10-3-407)[1] for independent auditing of state and local entities in Arkansas. The Legislative Joint Audit Committee meets monthly and is composed of:

  • 16 Senators
  • 20 Representatives
  • Ex-officio officers:
    • Speaker of the House
    • President Pro Tempore of the Senate
    • Immediate past Co-Chairmen of the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee
    • Co-Chairmen of Legislative Council
    • Vice Co-Chairmen of Legislative Council

Roger A. Norman is Legislative Auditor. Audit reports are published on the division’s Web site.[2]

In a report published in May 2012, The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) rated Arkansas “Timely” in filing the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) –The annual report of state and local governmental entities. IFTA rated 23 states timely, 24 states tardy, and 3 states excessively tardy. IFTA does not consider Arkansas’s CAFRs, and those of the other states, to be accurate representations of the state’s financial condition because the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) basis does not include significant liabilities for the pension plans and for other post employment benefits, such as health care.[3] Arkansas’ Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Accounting is responsible for filing the CAFR. Richard Weiss is the Director of Finance and Administration.[4]

Arkansas currently has no statewide, official spending database online. However, the Department of Finance and Administration has created a statewide contracts procurement Web site.

Accounting transparency checklist

Truth 1.png

Comprehensive P
Partial.png
Balanced budget N
600px-Red x.png
Timeliness Y
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Usability N
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The good

  • The website has Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) dating back to 1999.[5]
  • It provides supplements to the budget workup, such as timelines.
  • The budget is posted using organized and consistent methods of financial reporting.
  • It includes all costs incurred by the government, including future liabilities

The bad

  • The 2008 budget CAFR is not published online, yet 2007 – 1999 are published online.
  • Arkansas law requires a balanced budget and does not prohibit a deficit at the end of the year to be carried over to the following year.
  • State audits are not published online, apparently.
  • Actual expenditures is greater than actual revenues.
  • The CAFR is posted in a series of PDF format documents, so they are not searchable online.

See also:

External links

References