The Balance Sheet

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The Balance Sheet

The Balance Sheet is the blog of the Local Government Commission staff. Click below to sign up to receive email alerts when new blog posts are released.

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For announcements and resources related to ARPA funds and the impacts of COVID-19, visit our Local Government ARPA Resources page.

ARPA Resources

October 31 ARPA Reporting Deadline

Monday, September 20, 2021

The first reporting deadline of August 31 for ARPA funds has passed (required only by counties and metropolitan cities), with a few hiccups along the way. The next deadline of October 31 affects all local government recipients. Please take a few minutes to review a new document from the NC Pandemic Recovery Office called Reporting to Treasury on Local Fiscal Recovery Funds – Where Do I Start? October 31 seems far away but several people have reported issues with getting set up for reporting, and many units had issues with the reporting itself. Please do not wait until October 31 to start this process. Go ahead and get your identified staff that are responsible for reporting set up in the system and start working on your report itself as soon as you can. We will continue to issue more guidance as it’s available.


U.S. Treasury also has published a document on the feedback received on the Interim Final Rule.  Please find that document here

Automated Systems and the Pre-Audit Requirement

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Under North Carolina Session Law 2021-58, units of local government subject to the pre-audit requirements of North Carolina General Statute 159-28 may now use an automated system to meet those requirements if:

  1. An annual certification is filed with the Secretary of the LGC by the unit’s finance officer
  2. The system has all of the following:
  • Embedded functionality that determines that there is an appropriation to the department, function code, or project in which the transaction appropriately falls.
  • Functionality ensuring that unencumbered funds remain in the appropriation to pay out any amounts that are expected to come due during the budgeted period.
  • Real-time visibility to budget compliance, alert threshold notifications, and rules-based compliance measures and enforcement.

To file a certification with the Secretary of the LGC, please visit the LGC File Transfer Portal at, then select “Other” and “Pre-Audit System Certification.”











Yellow Book Standards

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

With the inflow and subsequent spending of ARPA funds, more local governments than ever before will be subject to Government Auditing Standards, aka Yellow Book standards beginning in fiscal year 2022 and beyond.  What exactly does that mean and why should you be thinking about this now?  Read our memo to find out – Memorandum 2019-07 2018 Revision – Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) AKA “The Yellow Book.” 

Local Government Finance Class Starting September 13

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

“Local Government Finance in North Carolina - A Practical Approach,” will be offered online by Central Piedmont Community College starting September 13 and running through December 13. The cost is $125 and registration is available by calling Customer Service at 704-330-4223 or visiting

Our “Training Opportunities” webpage will be updated as more offerings of the course are available. This course is a great opportunity to receive an overview of the basics of local government finance in North Carolina from a very practical perspective.  Refer to the course description, objectives, and overview for more details.  

Important Changes to LGC Oversight of Charter Schools

Friday, August 27, 2021

Under Section 5 of North Carolina Session Law 2021-58 (House Bill 163), charter school audit reports, audit contracts, and audit invoices are no longer required to be submitted to the Local Government Commission (LGC) for review and approval. The LGC no longer has authority or oversight responsibilities regarding these charter school documents and reports. 

Please see Memorandum 2022-05 for important operational details related to this statutory change. 

Updated Data Input Workbooks

Monday, August 23, 2021

The data input workbooks that must be completed and submitted with 2021 annual audit reports have been revised and were re-published to the “Submitting Your Audit” webpage at 11:00 a.m. today.  We ask that you re-download the data input workbooks to avoid any issues in the previous versions that were posted to the website.

As always, feel free to contact us at if you have questions or if we can provide any assistance.

Important Information Regarding File Uploads

Monday, August 23, 2021

Beginning Monday, August 23, 2021, submissions of audit reports, audit contracts, and audit invoices should be uploaded through our new file portal.

Upload your documents through the LGC File Portal at  

To submit your files: 

  • Click on “Audit” then select the file you are uploading (audit report, auditor communication, or data input worksheet).  


Paying Bonuses or Incentives to Employees to Encourage Vaccination

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

UPDATED 8/19/21

Several units have or are planning to initiate programs offering cash bonuses or other incentives to employees to encourage vaccination against the COVID-19 virus. Questions have arisen about these plans as follows:

  • Can we offer such incentives? Generally speaking, yes you can. The EEOC has ruled these incentives are ok if the amounts are not coercive. State law gives cities and counties broad authority to offer fringe benefits to employees (if the benefit is not prohibited elsewhere in the statutes. Such is the case with giving employees free or reduced utility rates.)
  • Can you use ARPA funds to pay for these incentives? As is typical with ARPA money, the answer is “it depends.” There are some scenarios that are likely to be acceptable uses of ARPA funds, and others that may or may not be. Please see Kara Millonzi’s detailed blog post for more discussion on this topic.
  • Are these incentives taxable to employees? We believe they are and should be paid through payroll so that they are subject to the appropriate withholdings and reporting. We are watching for clarification from the IRS on this issue....

ARPA Funding Initial Reporting Requirements

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The first reporting deadline (to the UST) for ARPA funds is August 31 and it's coming up fast! We have two new resources available for those of you that are required to report.

Reporting is required by the following groups at the local level:

All counties
Metropolitan Cities

Kara Millonzi from the SOG has written a detailed blog post on the August 31 reporting requirements as well as subsequent reporting for counties and metropolitan cities. She also discusses reporting required of NEUs, which is most of our municipalities. Please find that post here.

Also, the UST has released further guidance on how to report – Treasury's Portal for Recipient Reporting. You can find that guidance here.  

PLEASE NOTE:  NEUs are not required to file an interim report – not by August 31, not ever.  You get to sit this one out.  Your first reporting deadline will be October 31, and we will publish guidance as soon as it's available.  ​

Free Webinar – ARPA and Federal Aid for Water Utilities

Monday, August 2, 2021

GFOA will host a free webinar on August 12, 2021, from 1:00 pm-2:15 pm: "Introduction to the American Rescue Plan Act Funds for Water Bill Assistance and Infrastructure Projects." The webinar will feature experts from GFOA and the Environmental Finance Center Network, and will provide an introduction to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Low-Income Housing Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), and Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). For details and registration, please visit the event webpage.​