4-11 Analyzing Reports of Operations. Using the finance or similarly named department link of a county’s Web site, download either the county’s entire comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) or, if possible, just the portion of the CAFR that contains the basic financial statements. Print a copy of the government-wide statement of activities and a copy of the statement of revenues, expenditures, and changes in fund balances—governmental funds, along with the reconciliation between these two statements, and respond to the requirements below.
The county administrator presented these statements at the last county commission meeting. Unfortunately, she opted not to take a governmental accounting course in college, and when the commission members began to question why these two statements were so different, she was unable to answer their questions. She has asked you, as finance director, to prepare her for the next meeting by explaining (in clear, easy-to-understand terms) the purposes for which each operating statement is intended and how and why the operating results differ.
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a. Examine the two operating statements in detail, paying particular attention to the lines on which changes in net position and changes in fund balances are reported and develop a list of reasons why the two numbers are not the same.
b. Prepare a succinct and understandable explanation of the results of operations of this government, comparing and contrasting both operating statements. Be sure that you use language that a non-accountant commission member would be able to understand.