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Municipal Chart of Accounts

The Comptroller’s Office has developed a process that will result in a uniform means of capturing municipal financial data. A uniform chart of accounts (COA) has been in place for county governments since the mid-1980s. The county COA has provided for consistency and transparency as well as allowed for the analysis and comparison of county financial data through our “Transparency and Accountability for Governments in Tennessee” (TAG) website. Until now, this has not been possible for municipalities.

Beginning with the audit year ending June 30, 2023, incorporated municipalities will be required to convert their audited accounting information into a standard format and then submit that data to the Comptroller’s Office. We plan to use the municipal data to build an application like TAG that will promote transparency, comparability of financial data across municipalities, and data analysis.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

Municipalities must use the municipal chart of accounts crosswalk to convert audited financial data beginning with the audit year ending June 30, 2023.

Yes. While the crosswalk is required to be performed for the audit year ending June 30, 2023, it would be beneficial to get an early start by performing a conversion test of June 30, 2022, data.

All incorporated municipalities in Tennessee will be required to crosswalk their audited financial data.

Not at this time, however Utility Districts will be included in the future.

Yes. The Comptroller’s Office has updated and will continue to maintain the chart of accounts previously found on the MTAS website. The chart has been updated tocomply with generally accepted accounting principles.

Municipal school systems use the existing county chart of accounts required by the Tennessee Department of Education. This data will be able to be transferred directly into the crosswalk.

Yes. This will be acceptable; however, your external auditor must verify the accuracyof the information. Your CPA firm is familiar with the chart of accounts you arecurrently utilizing as summarized in your audited financial statements.

You need to begin a conversation with your external auditor as soon as possible as tohow they plan on handling your data conversion. The crosswalk does not constitutean audit and no opinion should be issued. You should also discuss with your auditorthe cost of performing this service.

We are uncertain as to the impact this legislation will have on municipalities, your accounting records, and your audited financial statements. The FDTA provides two years for the Security and Exchange Commission to develop data standards. Once the standards are developed, governments will have two years to implement. With that said, we see no reason to delay the implementation of the chart of accounts crosswalk. We believe the crosswalk could give us a good starting point on complying with the new data standard requirements and the tagging of municipal financial information into a machine-readable format.

The audited financial information to be converted will include data from the fund financial statements. This will include all governmental funds and enterprise funds. The information will include audited data from the Balance Sheet and the Statementof Operations. Each line-item expenditure/expense account should also include an object code. Fiduciary fund types and the Government-wide financial statements are excluded from this conversion.

Your converted data will be uploaded to the Comptroller’s CARS system along with your completed audit report.

The only component units of a city that should be subject to the conversion would be a school department or any blended component units. All municipal school systems should submit a separate "Municipal Chart Crosswalk - School Funds Only" excel sheet. All other discretely presented component units should be excluded. Entities such as emergency communications districts or airports would not be included unless they are considered funds of the municipality. Special School Districts will not be subject to the crosswalk in the first year.

Internal school funds (ISF) audits are not impacted by the chart of accounts conversion, however the ISF-special revenue fund reported in a municipality’s financial statements should be included in the municipality’s chart of accounts crosswalk. A municipality’s chart of accounts for ISF does not have to include detailed line items, but it should reflect line items reported in the municipality’s financial statements.

You may contact Mr. Tim Hardy, Senior Contract Audit Review Specialist (, regarding questions related to the conversion of accounts or Mr. Justin Neal, IS Specialist (, regarding questions about the crosswalk tool. They can also be reached by phone at 615.401.7841.