Home Budget & Tax News New Jersey Ranks Toward Bottom of Financial Transparency Report

New Jersey Ranks Toward Bottom of Financial Transparency Report

By Dave Fidlin

With critiques of timeliness and manner of reporting data, New Jersey ranked toward the bottom of an organization’s recent study of how states across the country report financial data.

Chicago-based nonprofit Truth in Accounting recently took the wraps off its 2020 report of states’ financial transparency scores. In it, New Jersey tied for No. 42 with a score of 74 out of 100 possible points.

Truth in Accounting, which touts itself as a watchdog group over government spending, took aim at several aspects of New Jersey’s most recent year-end audited financial statements — including the length of time it took to disseminate the information with the general public.

“The state received a low score mostly because it didn’t release its audited financial report until 274 days after its fiscal year-end,” Sheila Weinberg, CEO and founder of Truth in Accounting, said in an email interview with The Center Square.

Another reason Weinberg singled out for the Garden State’s low ranking: “Its balance sheet included confusing deferred outflows and inflows.” In accounting, the term “outflow” refers to money paid to suppliers, banks and other parties; “inflow” references funds received from companies or organizations.

This is the second time this fall Truth in Accounting has given New Jersey low scores for financial-related matters.

In September, the stated ranked dead last in the organization’s annual report, Financial State of the States 2020. The analysis delved into each state’s financial conditions before the COVID-19 economic crisis.

In the report, Truth in Accounting analysts estimated New Jersey stood to lose $14 billion in revenue from lockdowns and other factors that have crimped the state’s economy since the pandemic began.

In the more recent transparency study, New Jersey did receive high marks in some of the eight specific metrics that went under the microscope.

For example, the state received 50 out of 50 points in the most heavily weighted category concerning outside auditors’ reviews of financial documents. In the state’s last year-end statement, New Jersey was given a “clean opinion,” meaning no irregularities or red flags were discovered.

Weinberg and others within Truth in Accounting said a goal of the organization’s annual transparency reports is to shine a light on the broader reporting of financial data.

“While there is a great deal of focus on state budgets, the results of those budgets are found in a government’s CAFR (comprehensive annual financial report),” a statement within the document reads. “The criteria used to develop our transparency score provide a ‘best practices’ framework for government officials and citizens that can be used to improve their government’s transparency and accountability.”

The average score in this year’s transparency report was 79 out of 100 points. In general, states were docked points for the time it took to report data and using outdated pension information.

New York and Utah tied for the top spot in this year’s analysis, earning scores of 89 points. Connecticut notched the least transparent score, netting 49 points.

 

Originally posted by The Center Square. Republished with permission.

Dave Fidlin
The Center Square Contributor

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Stock Market, Overall Economy Sustain Growth Trend

Both the stock market and the economy remain in a strong upward trend. The Week That Was The main economic news this past week comes from...

Conservative Leaders Call on Feds to Cease Collusion with Social Media Platforms

“The Biden administration is ripping the U.S. Constitution to shreds. Its assault on America’s freedom of speech is terrifying. It is the hallmark of dictatorships."

Heartland Institute Responds to Fake News About its Funding in Slate Article

The July 13, 2021 article in Slate titled “Not Too Slick: How Exxon Mobil exposed itself on tape outlines a “sting” operation carried out by a Greenpeace...

Biden Administration Suspends ANWR Oil Leases

The administration of President Joe Biden suspended oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
- Advertisement -

Recent Comments

MaryJean38@Comcast.net on CDC Ignores Scientific Studies on Masks
Many Climate Crisis Claims Are Based on Manipulated Science on How to End Biden’s Fake Climate Apocalypse
Scottar Brooke on Free Speech? Forget It.
Randy M Verret on The Gaslight Election
S. T. Karnick on The Gaslight Election
Randy M Verret on The Gaslight Election
S. T. Karnick on The Gaslight Election
Randy M Verret on The Gaslight Election
S. T. Karnick on The Gaslight Election
Randy Verret on The Gaslight Election
Randy Verret on The Gaslight Election
Breonna Taylor Settlement: What it means for No-knock Warrants – Gun News on U.S. Senator Attacked by Mob
Breonna Taylor Settlement: What it means for No-knock Warrants ~ N6AQ.com on U.S. Senator Attacked by Mob