Texas CAFR Report

Reply to the Management’s Discussion and Analysis of the 2019 State of Texas CAFR Report below.

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 The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report published by state and local governments each year is an overall look at the financial condition of the government in question. This report has many uses and is looked at as essential information by government workers, voters, and investors alike. The report indicates, over time, the increases and decreases in net positions and measures whether the State’s financial position is improving or deteriorating” (The Bond Buyer, 2018). The CAFR for the State of Texas is no exception.
     The Management’s Discussion and Analysis section of CAFRs is valuable in conducting research and formulating forecasts that rely upon historical information. Also, bond rating agencies and bond buyers use CAFRs to evaluate a local government’s financial situation (Berman, 2014). The State of Texas discloses some very important information in it is Management Discussion and Analysis section that indicate the financial health of the State and how it has managed public funds, debts, and overall economic growth. Four of the points indicated in this section were highlighted as particularly important.

     The first point is that in the government and business-type activities sections, capital assets and total liabilities went up compared to the previous year of 2018. Capital assets did rise at a faster than the liabilities side, so the overall debt to asset ratio improved in 2019. The second point of interest is that total program revenues were lower in 2019 due to the business-type activities according to the report’s Changes in Net Position section. This is important since total revenues only increased approximately $1,000,000,000 while total expenses increased almost $10,5000,000,000, and this information offsets the positive report on the State’s debt to asset ratio.
     The third point of interest is that the State of Texas’ outstanding bond debt rose by $2,500,000,000 during the year of 2019. This information is concerning when considering that 2019 was a solid economic year for the State generally. This trend must be watched to ensure a deficit does not remain the State’s default annual, financial outcome. And the final point is that of the overall economic condition of the State of Texas at the end of 2019. The best indicators of economic growth for the State are the job creation numbers, which were up over 336,000. This number was higher than another other State in the same period, and the unemployment rate fell to the third lowest rate among the top ten most populous states. The information from these four points combined indicate a slightly improved economic position for the State of Texas in the year 2019 with several point of concern in the debt obligation and revenue departments.
     As Christians, government account should be extremely important to everyone. Romans 14:7-8, 12 NASB says “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.” In the United States of America, we are blessed with a democratic republican system of government. This means a government that should serve the needs of the people it represents. This means that every person ought to desire accurate and detailed financial reporting for each area of government. Every citizen has a stake in governmental accountability, and the CAFR is an important component in said accountability.

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