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August 2013

The U.S. Government's Consolidated Financial Statements

A Primer for CPAs

How many citizen accountants can claim they have a working knowledge of the financial reporting practices of the U.S. federal government? Federal government accounting is not tested on the CPA exam, even though state and local government accounting is; unless accounting professionals actually work for the federal government or audit a federal agency, they are likely not to have a working knowledge of federal government accounting or financial reporting practices. Many, if not most, federal agencies are audited by the agency's Inspector General's (IG) Office; therefore, the number of CPAs who are familiar with federal government agency accounting is limited.

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