ACCT 438 Research Project Spring
Due: May 1(Tuesday), 2pm. Need to be typed, single space but with double space between each question, minimum 3 pages in general. Simply copy information from the CAFR will be handled as plagiarism.
Choice of the city need to be approved by the instructor by April 5th (Thursday).
Download a copy of the most recent comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for a city of your choice. Many cities with 25,000 or more population provide Internet access to their CAFRs. Carefully examine the information in the CAFR, and answer the following questions in adequate details.
- What has the city included in the introductory section of its CAFR? Does it include the items identified in the section of the text titled “Comprehensive Annual Financial Report”?
- Audit Report. Are the financial statements in the report audited by an independent CPA, state auditors, or auditors employed by the government being audited? Has the city received an unmodified audit report?
- Notes to the Financial Statements. How many notes follow the required basic financial statements? Is there a phrase at the bottom of the basic financial statements indicating that the notes are an integral part of the financial statements? What significant accounting policies are discussed in the first note? With regard to revenue recognition, how do the notes define the term available for paying current period obligations?
- Other Supplementary Information. Following the notes to the financial statements, does the CAFR provide other supplementary information, such as combining and individual fund statements?
- Statistical Tables. List at least five types of information has been included in this section of the CAFR. What is the city’s population? What is the total taxable appraisal property value and property tax rate? How much is the debt limit and debt margin? What is the total number of city employees?
- Government-wide Statements. What are the titles of the two government-wide statements? Are total assets larger for governmental activities or business-type activities? Which function or program has the highest net cost? What kinds of general revenues are available to cover the net cost of governmental activities? Were business-type activities “profitable”? That is, is the excess of revenues over expenses positive?
- Statement of Activities at the Government-wide Level. What is the most costly governmental function or program operated by the government? How much of the cost of governmental activities was borne by taxpayers in the form of general revenues? Did the entity increase or decrease its governmental activities unrestricted net position this year? Did the entity increase or decrease its business-type activities unrestricted net position this year?
- Governmental Funds. What basis of accounting used for the General Fund? What types of assets and liabilities are included on the governmental funds balance sheet? Identify which of the major funds, if applicable, are special revenue funds, debt service funds, capital projects funds, and permanent funds. Are you able to determine which funds are considered non-major? (Hint: look for supplementary information.) What fund balance categories are being used?
- Statement of Revenues, Expenditures, and Changes in Fund Balances for Governmental Funds. Revenues. What system of classification of revenues is used in the governmental fund financial statements? List the three most important sources of General Fund revenues and the most important source of revenue for each major governmental fund. Does the reporting entity depend on any single source for as much as one-third of its General Fund revenues? What proportion of revenues is derived from property taxes? Do the notes clearly indicate recognition criteria for primary revenue sources?
- What level of classification of expenditures is used in the governmental fund financial statements (e.g., fund, function or program, organization unit, activity, character, object)? List the three largest categories of General Fund expenditures; list the largest category of expenditure of each major governmental fund.
- General Fund. (1) What statements and schedules pertaining to the General Fund are presented? (2) What purpose is each statement and schedule intended to serve? (3) Are any noncurrent or nonliquid assets included in the General Fund balance sheet? If so, are they offset by equal amounts classified as “nonspendable” fund balances? (4) Are any noncurrent liabilities included in the General Fund balance sheet? If so, describe them. (5) Are revenue classifications sufficiently detailed to be meaningful? (6) Has the government refrained from reporting expenses rather than expenditures?
- Proprietary Funds. List the names of the proprietary fund types included in the financial statements. Do the financial statements provide evidence that all proprietary funds use accrual accounting?
ACCT 438 Research Project Spring