What is the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report?

Each year all State and local governments prepare a financial report on assets, liabilities, revenues and expenditures in more or less a standardized format that must conform to the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) accounting and financial reporting standards. This financial report is called the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR, pronounced "cay-fer"). Most people have heard of the budget, which is the document that plans and authorizes the spending of money. The CAFR describes what actually was spent and the status of assets and liabilities at the end of the fiscal year.

The CAFR:

  • Presents a comprehensive picture of a government's financial condition by combining the annual financial reports of all government agencies and universities.
  • Presents information on the accrual basis recognizing amounts owed by the government but not paid at the end of the fiscal year, as well as amounts due to the government but not received by the end of the fiscal year.
  • Contains information on real property and other fixed assets, long-term obligations or investments held outside the government treasury.
  • Includes statistical and some economic data.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports provide information which is used by investment companies such as Moody's Investors Services and Standard and Poors Corporation to determine the state's fiscal integrity and set bond rates. It includes a comprehensive presentation of the state's financial and operating activities.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports:

2014 CAFR 2009 CAFR
2013 CAFR 2008 CAFR
2012 CAFR 2007 CAFR
2011 CAFR 2006 CAFR  
2010 CAFR 2005 CAFR