The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada has awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the City of Carlsbad for its fiscal year 2015-16 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. This is the 19th year in a row the city has received this prestigious award, which is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.
To be awarded a Certificate of Achievement, a government entity must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The financial report must also be designed to encourage people to read and use it. In addition, the report needs to satisfy both Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and applicable legal requirements.
“We place a high priority on presenting the city’s financial information in a thorough, professional manner that is easy for the public to understand. It’s part of being transparent, which is critical for government,” says Kevin Branca, the city’s finance director, who is responsible for compiling the report. “
The city’s annual financial report includes the basic financial statements of the city. The report also includes management’s discussion and analysis, which provides a narrative overview and analysis of the financial activities of the city for the fiscal year, and statistical information that provides trend analysis on key financial and non-financial data of the city.
State law and the city’s municipal code require that an annual financial report be prepared. Staff members from throughout the city contribute information to the report under the direction of the finance department to assist the public in understanding the fiscal condition of the city.
According to Branca, the city’s excellent financial reporting was one reason why in 2009 Standard & Poor’s upgraded the city’s credit rating from AA to AAA, the highest rating possible. The city has maintained this rating ever since.