South Carolina government accounting principles
In a report published in May 2012, The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) rated South Carolina “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. South Carolina's CAFRs are annual publications of the South Carolina Comptroller General, the state's top accountant supervising state spending, keeping the state's books and maintaining accounting controls over state agencies. Richard Eckstrom has served as South Carolina's Comptroller General since 2002.
Accounting transparency checklist
- The website has Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) dating back to 1993.
- An independent auditor’s report is published on page 18 of the document.
- It provides supplements to the budget workup, starting on page 143.
- The budget is posted using organized and consistent methods of financial reporting.
- South Carolina law requires a balanced budget, but a deficit is permitted (as long as there are allowances made in the budget to make up for it).
- It includes all costs incurred by the government, including long-term liabilities, starting on page 23 of the document.
- The CAFR compares estimated and actual budgetary numbers, such as on page 144 of the document.
- The South Carolina office was timely in submitting the budget.
- The CAFR is posted in a PDF format, so it’s not searchable online..
- South Carolina Office of the State Auditor Web site, accessed November 11, 2009
- Institute for Truth in Accounting, “The Truth About Balanced Budgets—A Fifty State Study,” Page 58
- South Carolina Comptroller General Web site, accessed November 11, 2009
- South Carolina CAFRs
- South Carolina CAFR, 2009
- Institute for Truth in Accounting, South Carolina
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