SEA Reporting

Topics: Financial statements, Government, Federal government of the United States Pages: 3 (897 words) Published: February 24, 2014
 At the state and local level, elected and non-elected officials are given the task of managing public funds. These individuals are to ensure and validate that public funds given to these governments are used in the best interest of its citizens. Financial statements are the traditional way in which a government's performance is reported. Traditional financial statements provide fiscal information and indicate if a profit was made. However, according to Mead profit is not the main objective for governments. “Most governmental entities do not have a profit motive, although they try to ensure that sufficient resources are raised to cover their costs. Making ends meet is important because it helps to ensure a government's long-term financial viability. But knowing only whether a government raised more or less money than it spent is not sufficient to evaluate its "success." Understanding how well a government performed requires information about what the government did with the resources it raised. How much service did it provide? Were the services provided efficiently and effectively? What did the government accomplish?” (Mead, 2008) This is where SEA reporting plays a role in governmental accounting. The SEA report is an external report aside from the annual comprehensive financial report which ensures that the result of programs and services is communicated effectively to any interested parties. Those interested parties could include elected officials, legislative staff, citizens, and the media. GASB began seeing the importance of SEA reporting as early as its initiation in 1984. SEA reporting at the state and local government level helps to communicate the results of programs or services. According to, “One year after its creation in 1984, the GASB passed a resolution calling for state and local governments to experiment with SEA reporting.” GASB began advocating that SEA reports provide government officials and the public with...
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