You are here

investigation of the availability, distribution, and usability of the comprehensive annual financial reports of United States cities

Download pdf | Full Screen View

Date Issued:
2001
Summary:
Accountability is the cornerstone of democracy. Fiscal accountability is particularly important to an electorate. The system of fiscal accountability developed by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board is too complex and technical for the public, being beyond all but specially trained accountants and finance professionals. This dissertation investigates how the audited annual financial reports of U.S. cities are distributed and understood. The problem of governmental accounting complexity is treated as one of systemic nature due to the needs of a broad range of users and the wide range of uses for information contained in the audited annual financial reports. The study population is over 500 U.S. cities. The study methodology has three parts: a descriptive analysis of sample documents; a survey of finance directors requesting information about distribution of the reports, their perceptions on usability of the audited annual financial reports, and their opinions about the evolution of governmental accounting theory and practice. The third part of the study identified a cluster group sample of the general public who volunteered to complete a written survey and participate in a practical usability test with actual comprehensive annual financial report documents. The study concluded that there has been little or no marketing of the audited annual financial reports, actual distribution is exceedingly sparse, and that the general public has limited knowledge of the existence or availability of the document or the ability to make use of the comprehensive annual financial reports in their present form. Recommendations are made to release the audited annual reports in less time, free of charge, with wide distribution. The CAFR model needs to be simplified, organized better, and common language used. GASB, the Government Finance Officers Association, public administrators, and government finance professionals must accept the need to educate the public. Public administrators need to assert themselves when governmental accounting and financial reporting changes are contemplated.
Title: An investigation of the availability, distribution, and usability of the comprehensive annual financial reports of United States cities.
116 views
39 downloads
Name(s): Hall, Douglas Roger, Jr.
Florida Atlantic University, Degree Grantor
Washington, Charles W., Thesis Advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Issued: 2001
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 511 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: Accountability is the cornerstone of democracy. Fiscal accountability is particularly important to an electorate. The system of fiscal accountability developed by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board is too complex and technical for the public, being beyond all but specially trained accountants and finance professionals. This dissertation investigates how the audited annual financial reports of U.S. cities are distributed and understood. The problem of governmental accounting complexity is treated as one of systemic nature due to the needs of a broad range of users and the wide range of uses for information contained in the audited annual financial reports. The study population is over 500 U.S. cities. The study methodology has three parts: a descriptive analysis of sample documents; a survey of finance directors requesting information about distribution of the reports, their perceptions on usability of the audited annual financial reports, and their opinions about the evolution of governmental accounting theory and practice. The third part of the study identified a cluster group sample of the general public who volunteered to complete a written survey and participate in a practical usability test with actual comprehensive annual financial report documents. The study concluded that there has been little or no marketing of the audited annual financial reports, actual distribution is exceedingly sparse, and that the general public has limited knowledge of the existence or availability of the document or the ability to make use of the comprehensive annual financial reports in their present form. Recommendations are made to release the audited annual reports in less time, free of charge, with wide distribution. The CAFR model needs to be simplified, organized better, and common language used. GASB, the Government Finance Officers Association, public administrators, and government finance professionals must accept the need to educate the public. Public administrators need to assert themselves when governmental accounting and financial reporting changes are contemplated.
Identifier: 9780493407739 (isbn), 11969 (digitool), FADT11969 (IID), fau:8886 (fedora)
Note(s): Thesis (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2001.
Subject(s): Financial Accounting Foundation --Governmental Accounting Standards Board
Municipal finance--United States--Accounting
Local finance--Accounting--Standards--United States
Cities and towns--United States
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/11969
Sublocation: Digital Library
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.