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Best Practices/Advisories

GFOA Best Practices identify specific policies and procedures as contributing to improved government management. It aims to promote and facilitate positive change rather than merely to codify current accepted practice. Partial implementation is encouraged as progress toward a recognized goal.  

GFOA Advisories identify specific policies and procedures necessary to minimize a government’s exposure to potential loss in connection with its financial management activities. It is not to be interpreted as GFOA sanctioning the underlying activity that gives rise to the exposure.

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188 Documents

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Appropriate Level of Unrestricted Fund Balance in the General Fund

Best Practice

GFOA recommends that governments establish a formal policy on the level of unrestricted fund balance that should be maintained in the general fund for GAAP and budgetary purposes.3 Such a guideline should be set by the appropriate policy body and articulate a framework and process for h

Committee: 
Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting
Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy

Assessing Risk and Uncertainty in Economic Development Projects

Best Practice

GFOA recommends that governments considering proposed economic development projects incorporate an analysis of risk and uncertainty as part of their overall feasibility analysis of such projects.  GFOA also recommends that governments identify the potential impact from identified risks and uncertainties on expected outcomes.   Examples of risks

Committee: 
Economic Development and Capital Planning

Audit Committees

Best Practice

GFOA makes the following recommendations regarding the establishment of audit committees by state and local governments:

Committee: 
Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting

Business Preparedness and Continuity Guidelines

Best Practice

GFOA recommends that governments develop, test, and maintain a plan to continue their basic business operations during and immediately after disruptive events. Governments must be able to anticipate problems, detect threats and determine effective protective actions to enable them to continue to function.

Committee: 
Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy
Governmental Debt Management

Capital Planning Policies

Best Practice

GFOA recommends that governments develop and adopt capital planning policies that take into account their unique organizational characteristics including the services they provide, how they are structured, and their external environment. 

Committee: 
Economic Development and Capital Planning

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