The program was established in 1945 by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) to encourage state and local governments to present financial reports that would reflect transparency and full disclosure. This type of reporting presents the City's efforts to be fully accountable to the citizens on finances of the government.
This report must include all funds and component units in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. An independent auditor's report must be included in the CAFR as to the fair presentation of the City's financial statements and the audit performed was in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards or generally accepted government auditing standards.
This report is required to be submitted no later than 6 months after the close of the calendar year. The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is reviewed by GFOA professional staff members and the GFOA Special Committee, with backgrounds in areas such as the public-sector financial reporting, independent auditors, and finance professionals.
The City of Newton has received a Certificate of Achievement for each of the last 26 consecutive years (fiscal years ended 1989-2015).