Municipal Accounting and Auditing Training and Resources

Information and resources for municipal accountants and auditors.

Table of Contents

Accounting Concepts

Accounting procedures

Webinar: Free Cash Upload & Certification Process In this webinar, DLS staff highlighted how to complete the forms necessary for free cash certification. These forms, uploaded in Gateway, are used to request certification of and calculate a city or town’s free cash certification from BOA each fiscal year. The slides from the presentation are also available here.

Webinar: Excess and Deficiency Upload Process In this webinar, DLS staff provided instruction about how to complete the forms necessary for excess and deficiency certification. These forms, uploaded in Gateway, are used to calculate and approve a regional school district’s excess and deficiency amount each fiscal year. The slides from the presentation are also available here.

Reconciling Cash and Receivables (PDF)

The Balance Sheet Review and Free Cash Certification Process (Video)  This video provides municipal accountants with a complete walk-through of the forms and process used by the Bureau of Accounts to certify free cash.

An Introduction to Free Cash (Video)

Property Value Recertification and Tax Rate Target Dates (BUL2019-2, PDF)

Insurance and Restitution Proceeds (LFO2018-2, PDF)  This Local Finance Opinion (LFO) addresses the accounting treatment of fire or physical damage insurance policy proceeds or restitution received for damage to city, town or district property.

Guidelines: Appropriation Transfers (IGR2017-13, PDF)  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) informs local officials of changes made by the Municipal Modernization Act to the alternative end-of-year budget transfer procedure.

Guidelines: Municipal Finance Provisions of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) (IGR2019-14, PDF)  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) explains to local officials the procedures and requirements for establishing and administering a special fund that may be appropriated and spent for certain open space, recreational, historic resource and affordable housing purposes.

Overview of Statutory Treatment of Municipal Revenues (PDF)

Special Revolving Funds for Performance Surety Deposits (IGR2017-16, PDF)

Special Revolving Funds for Outside Consultant Fees (IGR2017-14, PDF)  These guidelines explain amendments to the special revolving fund under G.L. c. 44, § 53G to expand the use of these special outside consultant revolving funds to a greater number of officials.

Departmental Revolving Funds (BUL2017-1B, PDF)

Proceeds from Rental of Municipal Real Estate (IGR2017-15, PDF)

Transportation Network Company Per-Ride Assessment Distribution (LFO2018-1, PDF)

Insurance and Restitution Proceeds (LFO2018-2, PDF)  This Local Finance Opinion (LFO) addresses the accounting treatment of fire or physical damage insurance policy proceeds or restitution received for damage to city, town or district property.

Money From Marijuana Establishments and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (LFO2018-3, PDF)

Emergency Expenditure Timeline (for emergencies not related to COVID-19)

Year-End instructions from DLS to Accountants and Auditors

Municipal Audits

Overview of Municipal Audits Webinar (Video) Recorded version of webinar hosted by the Division of Local Services and the Office of the Inspector General on June 9th, 2021. The webinar provides information on the different components of the audit, the benefits of having an audit completed, the best practices for procuring a local audit, and how often a community is required to have an external audit completed. DLS and OIG staff also answer other questions from attendees. The slides from this presentation can be viewed here (PDF).

Municipal Audits: FAQs (PDF) This document provides answers to common questions regarding municipal audits, including procurement and preparing for audits.

Audit Firms A list of audit firms from whom we have received audit reports in the past.

Tools and Resources

An Introduction to Free Cash (Video)

The Balance Sheet Review and Free Cash Certification Process (Video)  This video provides municipal accountants with a complete walk-through of the forms and process used by the Bureau of Accounts to certify free cash.

Accountant/Auditor role and responsibilities

Date published: July 30, 2020
Last updated: August 5, 2020
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