Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State to Get Its First Financial Report

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

State to Get Its First Financial Report

Article excerpt

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By Lou Anne Wolfe For the first time, Oklahoma this year is going to have a "caffer," and the state's bond ratings could get a boost.

Contrary to the way it sounds, this "caffer" has nothing to do with giving birth or with the Oklahoma National Stockyards.

The term is the way officials pronounce the acronym CAFR, which stands for Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

"It's like an annual report of a corporation," said Alexander Holmes, state finance director.

"It's helpful in bond ratings."

State Bond Advisor Stan Provus said the report, which presents revenues and expenditures in a standard form used by other states, is very important to the rating agencies because much of their analysis is done in comparison with other states.

Holmes said State Auditor and Inspector Clifton Scott was first to recognize the need for such a report, and he did it from his office on a catch-as-catch-can basis because he was not funded to do it.

"It should be prepared by the finance office and the auditor and inspector should audit it," Holmes said. "So we asked the (Oklahoma) Legislature last session, and they provided the funds."

Provus is hopeful that the financial report, plus positive economic trends and Oklahoma's low debt ratio, will cause the bond rating agencies to smile favorably on the state next week when a delegation calls on them in New York City.

Besides Provus and Holmes, the group will include State Comptroller Doug Enevoldsen and Paul Smith, bond analyst.

Oklahoma is currently rated AA by both Moody's and Standard & Poor's. …

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