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South Carolina government accounting principles

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The South Carolina Office of the State Auditor performs financial audits of state agencies, the annual financial audit of the State's General Purpose Financial Statements, and the annual Single Audit of the State's Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Funds. (timed out) The audit reports are published online. Richard H. Gilbert, Jr. is Interim State Auditor.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3]

Accounting transparency checklist

Truth 2.png

Comprehensive Y
600px-Yes check.png
Balanced budget N
600px-Red x.png
Timeliness Y
600px-Yes check.png
Usability P

The good

  • The website has Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) dating back to 1993.[4]
  • An independent auditor’s report is published on page 18 of the document.[5]
  • 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).[6]
  • It includes all costs incurred by the government, including long-term liabilities, starting on page 23 of the document.[5]
  • The CAFR compares estimated and actual budgetary numbers, such as on page 144 of the document.[5]
  • The South Carolina 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