Effective immediately, GFOA is asking all industry affiliates to stop using the four-letter acronym commonly associated with the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

Instead, GFOA recommends referring to the report by either the full name or by using a shortened format that does not include the four-letter acronym. For instance, the “Annual Report” is advised, the four-letter acronym, even pronounced by saying each letter individually, is still not advised.

This recommendation is the result of increasing professional awareness that the acronym, when pronounced aloud, sounds the same as a derogatory term historically used in other parts of the world.

GFOA is not acting alone. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board ("GASB") is also currently evaluating whether to change the name of the report entirely to completely disassociate with the acronym. GFOA fully supports this broader industry evaluation. GASB published an exposure draft in support of renaming the acronym on April 13 and they are accepting comments through July 9, 2021.

In the meantime, GFOA has eliminated the acronym from its own written and verbal communications and is strongly encouraging members and partners to do the same.

How should I now refer to the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report?

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) recommends referring to the report by either the full name or by using a shortened format that does not include the four-letter acronym. For instance, the “Annual Report” is advised, the four-letter acronym, even pronounced by saying each letter individually, is still not advised.

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is currently evaluating whether to rename the report to completely dissociate from the acronym. GFOA fully supports this effort.

Here is a link to resources that GFOA has developed that can assist you in communicating this change in your own organization:

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