Nevada government accounting principles

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The Legislative Auditor for the Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau, Audit Division (dead link) audits Nevada's state agencies and publishes audit reports (dead link) online. Paul Townsend is Legislative Auditor. The Legislative Auditor is a statutory officer appointed by the Director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau with the approval of the Legislative Commission for an indefinite term whose qualifications and duties are defined by law. The Legislative Auditor serves as staff to the Nevada Legislature and its various committees, and is the chief of the Audit Division.[1]

In a report published in May 2012, The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) rated Nevada “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 the state'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.[2] Nevada's CAFRs (dead link) are prepared and published online by the Nevada State Controller's Office.

Kim Wallin (dead link) was elected Nevada's State Controller in November of 2006.[3] The Nevada State Controller is one of the six constitutional officers of the state and is elected to a term of four years. The Controller is the chief fiscal officer charged with administering the state accounting system and the state's debt collection program under the Nevada Constitution Article 5, Section 19.[4]

Accounting transparency checklist

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Comprehensive Y
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Balanced budget Y
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Timeliness Y
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Usability P

The good

  • The website has Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) dating back to 1998.[5]
  • An independent auditor’s report is published on page 10 of the document.[6]
  • It provides supplements to the budget workup, starting on page 84.
  • The budget is posted using organized and consistent methods of financial reporting.
  • Nevada law requires a balanced budget and a deficit is forbidden.[7]
  • It includes all costs incurred by the government, including long-term liabilities, starting on page 14 of the document.[6]
  • The CAFR compares estimated and actual budgetary numbers, such as on page 108 of the document.[6]
  • The Nevada office was timely in submitting the budget.

The bad

  • The CAFR is posted in a PDF format, so it’s not searchable online.

External links