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 the impacts of COVID-19, visit our Local Government COVID-19 Resources page.

COVID-19 Resources

New Process for Audit Report and Data Resubmissions

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Beginning with the 2020 audit season, a Resubmission Form (replaces the “Audit Report Reissued Form”) must be submitted for all changes to an audit report, including audits resubmitted due to required corrections listed in the Audit Report Communication (replaces the “White Letter”) OR to the Data Input Workbook submitted with an audit report.  This is a major change from the previous practice and will ensure that the LGC staff has the most current version of the report and data for review, and that the most current version of the audit reports are posted to our website.

Also note that if a previous year audit report has to be resubmitted, the new Resubmission Form must be used.

Detailed information is provided on our Resubmitting Audit Reports and Data webpage.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions at SLGFD@nctreasurer.com or 919-814- 4299.

GASB 84 Implementation

Friday, October 2, 2020

GASB logoThe implementation of GASB 84 and the related changes in GASB 97 will require numerous changes in the fiduciary reporting for North Carolina local governments. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of GASB Statement 84 was delayed, but NC local governments with June 30 year ends will need to implement the guidance during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.

The decisions required to implement GASB 84 and GASB 97 are complex to understand and apply. To assist local governments and their auditors, LGC staff has issued Memorandum 2021-04 with information on the requirements of these statements and resources for implementation.

Debt Application and Audit Deadlines for LGC Meetings November 2020 – February 2021

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Any unit of government with a June 30 fiscal year end that is seeking debt approval in November or a later month will need to have its 2020 audited financial statements submitted to the LGC staff before the application can go forward.  Below are the deadlines through February 2021.  Deadlines for the remainder of the 2021 calendar year will be posted on our website in the coming days.

LGC Meeting Application Due Date Audit Due Date
11/10/2020 10/6/2020 10/16/2020
12/1/2020 11/3/2020 11/13/2020
1/5/2021 12/1/2020 12/14/2020
2/2/2021 1/5/2021 1/15/2021

 

2020 Annual Financial Information Report (AFIR) Now Available

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The 2020 Annual Financial Information Report (AFIR) template is now available on our AFIR website along with instructions and other resources for completing and submitting the report. The completed report must be submitted through the U.S. Census State Data Collections website. All North Carolina counties and municipalities are required to complete the AFIR by October 31 of each year.

New for FY2020, the U.S. Census has a NEW URL  https://statecollection.census.gov/. This web address now opens to a “State Data Collections” screen. Here you will select “North Carolina” and click on the “Go” button to access the North Carolina Login website. From there, the website and navigation remain unchanged from previous years.

Screenshot of the State Data Collections log in page

 

North Carolina Administrative Code sets a deadline for the AFIR as October 31 of each year; LGC staff cannot extend this due date. Counties and municipalities are encouraged to submit their AFIR by that deadline if their annual audited financial statements are complete. However, since the deadline for the submission of...

2020 Financial Reporting Checklists for North Carolina Counties and Municipalities

Thursday, September 10, 2020

2020 Financial Reporting Checklists for both North Carolina counties and municipalities now available on our Financial Statement Resources web pages:  Municipalities and Counties. These checklists may be useful to you as you prepare 2020 financial statements and audit reports required annually by North Carolina  General Statutes.

Please note that the Financial Reporting Checklists for Charter Schools is currently being updated for 2020 and will be coming soon. 

Collateralization of Public Deposits and Pooling Bank List as of June 30, 2020

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Memorandum #2021-03: Collateralization of Public Deposits and Pooling Bank List as of June 30, 2020, is now available on our Memos webpage. Please note that this will be the last publication in memo form of the pooling bank list and the collateralization requirements for local governments. The pooling bank list is updated quarterly by the Financial Operations Division of the Department of State Treasurer and can be accessed HERE at any time. In addition, the Collateralization of Public Deposits webpage provides all the most current information regarding the methods of collateralization and other resources.

2020 Audit Reports: Resources and Important Announcements

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Resources and instructions for submission of 2020 audit reports are now available on our Submitting Your Audit webpage.

Important - There are several significant and important changes this year to the Data Input Workbooks and the Transmittal Document (TD). Local governments and their auditors will need to understand these changes because they will be impacted by them.

Data Input Workbook

  • Data collected on the Data Input Workbook is now “self-reported.” Beginning with audit reports submitted June 30, 2020, we will not be verifying the reported data. Increased workloads and limited resources prohibit us from continuing this long-standing data verification practice. This move to self-reported data is a critical change in reporting that cannot be overemphasized. The NC General Assembly and various other groups depend on local governmental data; therefore, we urge local governments and their auditors to carefully report accurate data. *Local government finance officers will be required to verify in the Data Input Workbook that the amounts reported reflect the final amounts in their audited financial statements.
  • New questions documenting the unit’s compliance with General Statue 159-25 are included. These questions allow the staff of the LGC to ensure that our records are current and to...

2020 Year End Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Reporting

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

In June 2020, GASB issued Technical Bulletin No. 2020-1 (TB 2020-1). TB 2020-1 addressed six frequently asked questions that GASB staff were seeing around the CARES Act and the CRF funds included with the Act. This blog is intended to make North Carolina local governments aware of TB 2020-1 and the related implications for year-end reporting. Several of the questions included in TB 2020-1 have direct impact on how COVID-19 funds should be reported in governmental financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2020.

Question 1 in TB 2020-1 clarifies that the CRF funds are subject to eligibility restrictions, not purpose restrictions. Since the federal government allocated CRF funds to state and local governments based on population allocations, they are subject to eligibility restrictions which have revenue recognitions implications for local governments. Under GASB 33 revenue recognition guidance, the unspent funds on hand at June 30 do not meet the definition of a revenue and should be reported as a liability in the financial statements. Unspent funds at June 30 should NOT be reported as deferred inflows.

Also, Question 5 addresses the reporting of CARES Act resources within enterprise funds and business-type activities in the government-wide statements. The question response is that, except for resources provided for uninsured individuals’...

FY2020 Financial Statement Resources Now Available

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Illustrative statements, pension and OPEB templates, and conversion worksheets for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020 are now available on our Financial Statement Resources webpage. Resources are available for counties, municipalities, boards of education, charter schools, and other unit types.

Please let us know if you have any questions.  You may reach us at SLGFD@nctreasurer.com.

LOGOTIN Project

Monday, August 10, 2020

The Local Government Commission staff is excited to announce its partnership in the Local Government Technology Initiative (LOGOTIN) project. The project is being led by a steering committee comprising representatives from the NC Government Finance Officers Association, the North Carolina League of Municipalities, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, the City of High Point, and LGC staff.

The goal of the project is to identify one or more software systems that could assist small and medium-sized local governments in meeting their essential financial, compliance, and reporting obligations in an efficient and transparent manner.

We know that many smaller local governments have difficulty maintaining the accounting records necessary to prepare accurate and timely financial reports.  This project can help local governments by:

  • identifying software systems that meet the financial management needs of smaller local governments
  • eliminating the time and expertise needed to identify a system
  • eliminating costly trial and error of system selection and implementation
  • developing a standard chart of accounts that can be utilized by local governments who wish to use it

We need your assistance to help us understand the financial processes and practices used by local governments throughout North Carolina. If you currently use financial management software, we’re also interested in your experiences using...