the binkley kanavy group: certified public accountants

County and Local Government

Popular Annual Financial Reports (PAFRs)

What Is A Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR)?
A Popular Annual Financial Report, or PAFR, is a document that is intended to convey the financial results of the government’s operations to those stakeholder’s of the government that do not necessarily have a background in public finance. The document, among other things, should be derived from the government’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), should use graphics and other visuals to augment the financial message, and should not be overwhelmingly technical in nature. These requirements are sometimes contrary to traditional financial reporting.

What Government’s Needs Are
The checklist of information to be included in a Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) is more of a loose set of requirements rather than a comprehensive set of accounting rules and disclosures. Often times the freedom that this lack of definitive rules offers is viewed as a hurdle to many governments that try to draft PAFRs because of the lack of direction. Even if these challenges are overcome, the government may lack the graphic art talent to create a visually appealing document.

How The Government’s Needs Can Be Met By BKG
Our experts understand the issues faced by elected officials and the importance of transparency in financial reporting to those stakeholders without a background in public finance. The experts at The Binkley Kanavy Group (BKG) offer the following tools and services that will allow elected officials to formulate such a document in a timely, simple and painless process.

Defining Your Message- The hardest part of creating a PAFR is understanding the story to be told. BKG’s process will allow the government to tailor this message. The following are examples of such information:

  • Public safety, economic development and other services should be highlighted in a PAFR to demonstrate what is done for citizens
  • Municipal awards, recognition, and other news worthy topics can be presented in a Popular Annual Financial Report to demonstrate why your municipality is a great municipality in which to live, work, and own a business.
  • For a PAFR, financial information must be in a format that all readers can relate to, therefore, laundry lists of numbers often times do not suffice

Our process- The process we have developed will walk our client completely through the process of creating the Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) document.

  • Brainstorming who the PAFR report should be distributed to and the medium by which this should occur
  • Defining the message that will be reported in the PAFR, including graphs, charts, photos, and text
  • Comparing draft documents of the PAFR to best practices, benchmarking to other governments and analyzing the risks involved with straying from these benchmarked standards
  • Facilitating PAFR graphic design, including meetings with graphics team, revision meetings, and publication services such as printing and electronic format.