4GENERAL FUND AND SPECIAL REVENUE FUNDS

INTRODUCTION

The general fund and special revenue funds are distinct. This chapter examines them together because many of the accounting and reporting aspects of these two fund types are the same. The financial reporting of a general fund is often used as an important indication of a government’s financial performance. When a state or municipality reports that it has a “surplus” or a “deficit,” what it is often referring to is the financial performance reported by the general fund. To enable the financial statement preparer to understand how and when these funds should be used, this chapter examines the following topics:

  • Basis of accounting and measurement focus.
  • Nature and use of the general fund.
  • Nature and use of special revenue funds.
  • Accounting for certain revenues and expenditures of general and special revenue funds.
  • Accounting for assets, liabilities, and fund balances of general and special revenue funds.

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