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Financial Reporting Requirements

 

Local governments, as public bodies, are accountable for the manner in which they spend their funds. Annual financial reporting is one method of demonstrating local government accountability.
 

A key component of financial reporting is the requirement for local governments to produce annual audited financial statements (145 KB). These statements must be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles established by the Public Sector Accounting Board of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and be reviewed by an independent auditor.

 

These audited financial statements must be available for public viewing and must also be included in the Statement of Financial Information (SOFI) and as part of the Annual Municipal Report.
 

A local government's Statement of Financial Information must be prepared in accordance with the Financial Information Act. The SOFI must be made available for public viewing by June 30 each year and be accessible for the following three years.
 

The Local Government Department administers the Financial Information Act as it applies to local governments on behalf of the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Finance has created a guidance package providing further clarification of the SOFI submission requirements.
 

The Annual Municipal Report is another local government accountability requirement. This report must state the goals and objectives of the local government for the coming year and demonstrate progress towards achievement of the preceding year's goals and objectives. The report must also include a set of audited financial statements. Local governments must present the report at a public meeting before June 29th in each year. The Annual Report must be available for public inspection at least 14 days prior to that meeting. There is no requirement that the report be submitted to the province.
 

Local governments are also required to submit financial statement information and tax rate information to the Local Government Department by May 15 each year. The information is reviewed, compiled and published in statistical schedules. Publication of these financial statistics increases the openness, transparency and accountability of local government financial affairs.
 

 

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