5 best practices for your GFOA submission

5 best practices for your GFOA submission
November 10, 2015

For many government agencies, the crown jewel is to earn the Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting award.

This represents not only the highest quality of submitted reporting, but the highest quality of transparency with auditors, GASB, and the citizenships those agencies serve. This accolade is a point of pride and a precedent for their agencies' team members—present and future.

The GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program started in 1945. The intent was to:

"...encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal."

For those who aspire to achieve this recognition, but have yet to do so, the absence can magnify the pain points in creating a CAFR or budget report. While every process has bottlenecks and areas where inefficiency holds sway, each year a handful of agencies produce an award-worthy report.

In working with state and local agencies, we've found that the route to accuracy and transparency runs through processes. The following best practices can help any agency improve how it creates a CAFR or budget report.

  1. Inventory your current process
  2. Establish a single source for your funds data
  3. Show progress toward goals
  4. Optimize timelines
  5. Get the right technology

Walk through the fives steps in the SlideShare below. These best practices can help dramatically improve efficiency and accuracy throughout your reporting process.

Mike Sellberg

About the author

Mike Sellberg is Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer at Workiva. He is the former EVP and CTO at iMed Studios and the former Divisional General Manager at Engineering Animation, Inc.