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Bowsher urges state and local financial reporting changes.

In a letter to James F. Antonio, chairman of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, Charles A. Bowsher, comptroller general of the United States, voiced his concern over the format of state and local government financial reports.

Bowsher said several comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFRs) of state and local governments reviewed by the General Accounting Office "contained little or no warning of the severe financial difficulties the press subsequently reported. While a sophisticated user can discern the probability of financial difficulties from the reams of information the CAFR provides, we believe most users would be unable to understand the financial position of [a state or local] government from these reports."

Bowsher suggested the "GASB move quickly to revise state and local government financial reporting." He added, "The interests of financial statement users may be better served if financial reports discussed more fully the environment in which the entity operates, the economic and other factors which may affect it and management's plans for the future."

Bowsher concluded, "The deteriorating financial conditions in a number of our cities and states give these suggestions a degree of urgency. I hope the GASB acts promptly to deal with the concerns I have expressed."
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Title Annotation:U.S. comptroller general Charles A. Bowsher
Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:Nov 1, 1991
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