The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR Program) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles to prepare comprehensive annual financial reports that evidence the spirit of transparency and full disclosure and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. The goal of the program is not to assess the financial health of participating governments, but rather to ensure that users of their financial statements have the information they need to do so themselves.
Reports submitted to the CAFR program are reviewed by selected members of the GFOA professional staff and the GFOA Special Review Committee (SRC), which comprises individuals with expertise in public sector financial reporting and includes financial statement preparers, independent auditors, academics, and other finance professionals.
Governments that participate in the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program are asked to submit their report within six months of the end of the fiscal year. The GFOA's review process typically requires an additional 4 to 6 months. Therefore, the 2014 program results are for comprehensive annual financial reports for fiscal years that ended during calendar year 2013.
Information for participants and potential participants:
- Details on how to become a Participant or Reviewer
- Eligibility Requirements
- How to Submit a Report
- Application form
- Requests for an extension of the submission deadline
- Judging Process
- Checklists through GASB 71
Information for reviewers and potential reviewers:
- Electronic Vote Page for Special Review Committee Members (SRC)
- Eligibility requirements
- How to apply to be a reviewer
- Application form to become a reviewer
- SRC review guide for general-purpose governments (including special districts that use governmental funds)
- SRC review guide for school districts
- SRC review guide for stand-alone business-type activities (including individual enterprise funds and special districts that use enterprise funds exclusively)
- SRC review guide for pension and other postemployment benefit (OPEB) systems
- SRC review guide for cash and investment pools
- Reviewer Information