Wyoming government accounting principles

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The Wyoming Department of Audit was created as part of the reorganization and commenced operations on July 1, 1989 in Wyoming. The Department is responsible for the regulation of financial institutions, including auditing public agencies and local governments. The Department is also responsible for conducting audits for the collection of federal and state mineral royalties, state mineral and excise taxes. Michael Geesey is Director of the Wyoming Department of Audit. Some audit reports are published online, but the Web site is not user friendly or completely informative.[1]

In a report published in May 2012, The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) rated Wyoming “Tardy” 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] Wyoming's CAFRs are prepared by the Wyoming State Auditor. Rita C. Meyer was elected in 2006 Wyoming State Auditor, a constitutional office elected for a four year term by the general electorate of Wyoming. The Auditor is the State’s chief fiscal control officer. She maintains the central fiscal accounts, acts as the official custodian of accounting records, serves as the state payroll officer, and orders all payments into and out of the funds held in the state treasury.[3]

Accounting transparency checklist

Truth 2.png

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

The good

  • The website has Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) dating back to 2006.[4]
  • An independent auditor’s report is published on page 2 of the document.[5]
  • It provides supplements to the budget workup, starting on page 92.
  • The budget is posted using organized and consistent methods of financial reporting.
  • Wyoming law requires a balanced budget and a deficit is forbidden.[6]
  • It includes all costs incurred by the government, including long-term liabilities, starting on page 32 of the document.[5]
  • The CAFR compares estimated and actual budgetary numbers, such as on page 92 of the document.[5]

The bad

  • The Wyoming office was somewhat tardy in submitting the budget.
  • There are only CAFRs posted dating back to 2006.
  • The CAFR is posted in a PDF format, so it’s not searchable online.

External links