Massachusetts Jumps 28 places in Truth in Accounting’s 2019 Financial Transparency Score Report
A message from Comptroller Andrew W. Maylor
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has recently been ranked 18th of 50 states in Truth in Accounting’s 2019 Financial Transparency Score Report. While this certainly leaves room to grow, Massachusetts gained a score of ‘84’ out of ‘100’, just four points behind the first-place score of 88. This marks a steep increase from 2018, when Massachusetts ranked 46th out of 50, receiving a score of ‘52’.
Transparency is central to our work at the Office of the Comptroller of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We are thrilled that Truth in Accounting has recognized our compilation of the 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) as adhering to many industry best practices. We are especially pleased that Truth in Accounting awarded Massachusetts with a perfect score of ‘10’ for full transparency and use of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in terms of reporting off-balance sheet liabilities.
The Office of the Comptroller continues the work of increasing its transparency as it relates to financial reporting and in all areas of our business, and we are actively working towards even better performance next year.
However, our ranking and score in Fiscal Year 2020 could be at risk due to the delayed enactment of the closeout appropriations budget. Legislative inaction has resulted in the delay of the filing of this year’s CAFR. This would put our ‘Timeliness’ score, a ‘6’ in 2019, in jeopardy.
We agree with Truth in Accounting that full financial transparency depends on timely actions that would adhere to state statutes and provide accounting reports in a reasonable timeframe. In future budget cycles, I anticipate that this office will fully comply with statutory deadlines. This would protect our score. More importantly, however, this would signal that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is committed to good governance and full transparency of its financial condition.