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February 3, 2014 | Spotlight

Institute Completes Work on Updating Uniform Chart of Accounts

Writer: Roger Nielsen

The Institute of Government, in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts, has updated the Local Government Uniform Chart of Accounts, and the third edition of the chart is now available to you on the DCA website.

A comprehensive review and update was completed in compliance with the Reporting Act of 1997. The most recent chart update is the culmination of a multiyear project between the Institute of Government and the State of Georgia. Institute faculty researched changes in the accounting standards set by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), and DCA researched changes in legislation that would require modifications to the chart structure. The last comprehensive chart update was completed in 2001.

"The update to the uniform chart of accounts for local governments plays an important role in offering consistency and comparability among local governments' financial statements," said Institute Financial Management Program Manager Tracy Arner.

The Institute also collaborated with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association to incorporate public comment on the proposed changes. "Having local governments' feedback on the chart revisions was invaluable," said Arner.

In addition to establishing consistent financial reporting, the uniform chart of accounts helps local taxpayers and local policymakers better understand and evaluate local government service delivery and operations. Local governments benefit from this project by having an updated chart that incorporates comprehensive accounting standards and legislative changes made since the last chart update.