Chapter 1 – Exercises 1-1
12. What is a CAFR? What are its main components?
A CAFR is the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for cities, states, and counties. This report summarizes the agencies financial statements as well as demographical information for a wide list of users such as taxpayers. The three main components of a CAFR are the introductory section, financial section, and statistical section. The introductory section includes information about the governments organizational structure as well as a list of elected officials. This section will also include information regarding population and resources. The financial sections is where the financial statements are contained as well was information regarding governmental funds, proprietary funds, and fiduciary funds. The statistical sections include information about the economy, tax rates, and any outstanding debt. This section also includes information from previous years. The primary difference between a budget and a CAFR is the information that is reported. A budget is used prior to the year starting to plan for the future years funding for projects and operating costs. The CAFR is a report at the end of the year that provides data on how the budgeted funding was used and where the agency stands financially. A budget is used to plan whereas the CAFR is used to reconcile the planned budget for the year. The budget will tell how the funding is to be used and the CAFR reports how the funding was used. A CAFR can be used however to create a budget by looking at the statistical section and the financial section the next years funding can be budgeted. At the end of the year the CAFR can be compared to the budget to show how close the budget was to the reporting at the end of the year. Chapter 3