Governance and non-profit accounting

Download a copy of the most recent CAFR for a local governmental/not-for-profit entity of your choice and familiarize yourself with the contents. The entity’s website is often a great source for this document.

The six-to-eight page Final Paper will discuss/analyze the document with at least three scholarly sources in addition to the text and must contain the following sections:

1. Introduction

a. Refer to the letter of transmittal or other narrative that accompanies the document. Provide an introduction to the chosen entity. This introduction should contain information regarding the history of the entity, including the mission, services provided, and area or individuals served.

2. Financial Section

a. Audit Report

i. Discuss the opinion expressed (unqualified or qualified) and the independent firm or government organization providing the opinion. Include a discussion of the statements covered by the opinion (basis statement plus combining statements and fund statements).

b. Financial Statements

i. Discuss the statements included in the report (government and/or fund statements), including any noted trends or concerns.
ii. Discuss each fund utilized by the entity, including the type of fund, source of revenues, noted trends, and financial condition.

c. Notes to the Financial Statement

i. Discuss the number of notes contained in the report and topics covered. Are any concerns noted after reading the notes?

d. Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A)

i. Discuss the provided MD&A, including any concerns, trends, and anticipated changes.

3. Operations

a. Capital Assets

i. Discuss the capital assets reported on the government-wide statement and the note disclosures regarding balance changes as well as policies regarding depreciation and capitalization thresholds.

b. General Long-term Liabilities and Debt Service Funds

i. Discuss any noted general Long-term Liabilities, including changes, debt limitations, and any overlapping debt.
ii. Discuss whether a Debt Service Fund is noted, including the debt instrument being serviced by the fund.

c. Internal Service and Enterprise Funds

i. Discuss whether any activities are administered by an internal service or enterprise fund. If an internal service fund is not utilized, note how activities commonly used by more than one fund such as purchasing and printing are handled. Note whether any enterprise fund is operating at a deficit, and if so, how it is handled.
ii. Discuss any regulations governing the operations of the enterprise fund(s).

d. Fiduciary Funds

i. Discuss whether any fiduciary activities are reported noting the fund utilized, purpose, and basis of accounting used.

4. Recommendations

a. As a result of reviewing the CAFR, discuss any recommendations you might have for improving the financial position of the entity. Keep in mind any items noted in the audit report, MD&A, as well as foot notes.

5. Conclusion

a. Summarize your findings, including any noted trends and concerns.

The CAFR Assessment

  1. Must be six to eight double-spaced pages in length (excluding the title and reference pages), and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  2. Must include a title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  3. Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
  4. Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
  5. Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
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