Florida gets above-average marks on financial transparency

By Florida Local News Network reports | | Nov 15, 2018


Florida received a score of 76 on making key financial information accessible and understandable to the public, according to a new report from Truth in Accounting (TIA), a Chicago-based policy institute.

The state’s score, which ranked 26th among the 50 states, is above the national average of 73.3. Utah received the top score of 85 on the ranking released this week, while Connecticut received the lowest score, 44.

The TIA analysis aims to encourage states to publicize accurate and timely information about their finances. Among the criteria used to calculate the scores are how easily the information is accessible to citizens on the internet, whether the state used an independent auditor to verify the data, whether it’s made public within about three months of the end of the fiscal year and whether the state reports all pension debts in its annual financial report.

Only 15 states -- Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming -- hire independent auditors to review their annual financial reports, the study found.

TIA stressed that the transparency scores would help citizens evaluate how their states are reporting on their financial health.

“If such information is not available, citizens are at a disadvantage and cannot knowledgeably participate in their government’s financial decisions,” Sheila Weinberg, TIA’s founder and CEO, said in a prepared statement.

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Financial Transparency Rankings

RankStateFinancial Transparency Score
1Utah85
2Washington84
3West Virginia83
4Virginia83
5South Dakota83
6Idaho82
7North Dakota82
8Alaska81
9Georgia81
10Indiana81
11New Hampshire81
12Pennsylvania81
13Oregon81
14Hawaii80
15Iowa80
16Maine80
17Nevada80
18New York80
19Mississippi80
20Tennessee79
21Wyoming79
22Arizona78
23South Carolina78
24Delaware77
25Kansas77
26Florida76
27Maryland76
28Kentucky74
29Michigan74
30Minnesota74
31Colorado74
32Texas74
33Alabama74
34Wisconsin74
35North Carolina73
36Ohio73
37Oklahoma73
38California72
39Illinois72
40New Jersey71
41Missouri65
42Louisiana62
43Nebraska61
44Rhode Island55
45Vermont53
46Massachusetts52
47Montana 52
48Arkansas50
49New Mexico50
50Connecticut44

U.S. average73.3
Source: Truth in Accounting

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