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State And Local Government Essay

1269 words - 6 pages

Fund Accounting Systems - Governmental accounting systems should be organized and operated on a fund basis. A fund is defined as a fiscal and accounting entity with a self-balancing set of accounts recording cash and other financial resources, together with all related liabilities and residual equities or balances, and changes therein, which are segregated for the purpose of carrying on specific activities or attaining certain objectives in accordance with special regulations, restrictions or limitations.The diverse nature of governmental operations and the necessity of assuring legal compliance have resulted in governmental financial transactions and balances being recorded in several ...view middle of the document...

Governmental units should establish and maintain those funds required by law and sound financial administrations. Only the minimum number of funds consistent with legal and operating requirements should be established since unnecessary funds result in inflexibility, undue complexity, and inefficient financial administration.Fund and Account Group Categories - Three fund categories and two account groups are employed in governmental accounting:Governmental Funds - the four funds (General, Special Revenue, Capital Projects, and Debt Service Funds) within this fund type are those through which most governmental functions typically are financed. The acquisition, use of and balances of the government's expendable financial resources and the related current liabilities - except those accounted for in proprietary funds - are accounted for through governmental funds. Governmental funds are, in essence, accounting segregations of financial resources. Expendable assets are assigned to the various governmental funds according to the purposes for which they may or must be used; current liabilities are assigned to the fund from which they are to be paid; and the difference between governmental fund assets and liabilities, the fund equity, is referred to as "Fund Balance." The measurement focus of governmental funds is the determination of financial position and changes in financial position (sources, uses and balances of financial resources), rather than upon net income determination.Proprietary Funds - Enterprise and Internal Service Funds are sometimes referred to as "income determination," or "commercial-type" funds, and are used to account for a government's ongoing organizations and activities which are similar to those often found in the private sector. Assets, liabilities, equities, revenues, expenses and transfers relating to the government's business and quasi-business activities - where net income and capital maintenance are measured - are accounted for through proprietary funds. The generally accepted accounting principles here are generally those applicable to similar businesses in the private sector; the measurement focus is dependent upon determination of net income, financial position, and cash flows.Fiduciary Funds - Trust and Agency Funds are used to account for assets held by a governmental unit in a fiduciary capacity or as an agent for individuals, private organizations, other governmental units, and/or other funds. Trust Funds are classified for accounting measurement purposes as either expendable or nonexpendable funds. Expendable Trust Funds are accounted for in essentially the same manner as governmental funds. Nonexpendable Trust Funds, Pension Trust Funds and Investment Trust Funds are accounted for in essentially the same manner as proprietary funds. Agency Funds are purely custodial (assets equal liabilities) and thus do not involve measurement of results of operations.Account Groups - Accountability for and...

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