Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Sort by the most common topics and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ Category
What is an audit? Audit
What is the purpose of an audit? Audit
Which local government entities does the Office of the State Auditor audit directly? Audit
Who sets the accounting standards for local governments? Audit
Who sets the standards that auditors use in conducting audits of Minnesota local governments? Audit
In Minnesota, what is the difference between the Office of the State Auditor and the Office of the Legislative Auditor? Audit
Whom do I contact for questions about COFARS? Audit
What is a Single Audit? Audit
Can residents of a local government have their local government audited? Audit
What is the audit threshold for a municipal liquor store? Audit, Government Information
What are the audit requirements for cities? Audit, Government Information
What are the audit requirements for towns? Audit, Government Information
What are the audit requirements for special districts? Audit, Government Information
What is a “special district” for purposes of the Minn. Stat. § 6.756 audit requirements? Audit, Government Information
What are the audit requirements for volunteer fire relief associations? Audit, Pension/Fire Relief Association
What are the minimum computer requirements for CTAS? CTAS
Do I need high-speed Internet to download or use CTAS? CTAS
My entity has purchased CTAS. How can I download the program? CTAS
How do I register to submit forms through CTAS? CTAS
How do I order the Small City and Town Accounting System (CTAS)? CTAS, Government Information
How can I get a copy of the Small City and Town Accounting System (CTAS) Reference Manual? CTAS, Government Information
Where is the data on School Districts? Government Information
What is the due date for cities reporting on a cash basis? Government Information
What is the due date for cities reporting in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles? Government Information
What is the due date for towns reporting on a cash basis? Government Information
What is the due date for towns reporting in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles? Government Information
Must local government officials and employees contact the Office of the State Auditor if they discover evidence of missing public funds or property? Legal/Special Investigations
What should a public accountant do if evidence of financial misconduct is discovered during an audit of a political subdivision? Legal/Special Investigations
I have a concern about possible misuse or theft of public funds in my local government. Can I contact your office? Legal/Special Investigations
Can a resident petition the Office of the State Auditor to conduct a financial audit of a local government’s books and records? Legal/Special Investigations
Can a local government official request the Office of the State Auditor to conduct a financial audit of a local government’s books and records? Legal/Special Investigations
Who audits state agencies and constitutional offices? Legal/Special Investigations
I would like to make a public data request of your office. Whom do I contact? Legal/Special Investigations
I am having problems obtaining documents from my local government. Whom should I contact? Legal/Special Investigations
Several local government officials met to discuss local government issues without holding a public meeting. Whom should I contact? Legal/Special Investigations
Does my local government have to keep its records forever? Legal/Special Investigations
Does the Office of the State Auditor review election concerns regarding ballots and voting? Legal/Special Investigations
I don’t like my local officials’ spending priorities. Is there anything I can do to change that? Legal/Special Investigations
What can I do if I disagree with the valuation of my property or the amount of my property taxes? Legal/Special Investigations
How do I challenge a special assessment placed on my property by my local government to pay for an improvement project? Legal/Special Investigations
I disagree with my local government about: 1) a charge on my municipal utility bill; 2) an increase in utility rates; and 3) a policy decision about utility rates. What can I do? Legal/Special Investigations
I am concerned with the way my local government is keeping minutes of its meetings. Can the Office of the State Auditor help? Legal/Special Investigations
When does a local government have to use sealed bids? Legal/Special Investigations
What is OPEB? Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB)
What is an OPEB trust? Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB)
We have an OPEB trust. What reporting is required to the Office of the State Auditor? Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB)
What is the deadline for OPEB investment reporting? Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB)
How can I report the investment information to the Office of the State Auditor? Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB)
Who can I contact with OPEB investment reporting questions? Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB)
What is a volunteer fire relief association? Pension/Fire Relief Association
I have heard that Minnesota has a decentralized pension system for volunteer firefighters. What does this mean? Pension/Fire Relief Association
What is the relationship between a relief association and the city or town fire department? Pension/Fire Relief Association
My fire department doesn’t have an affiliated relief association. Are we still eligible for state aid? Pension/Fire Relief Association
What forms does my relief association need to complete? Where can I find copies of them? Pension/Fire Relief Association
What are the relief associations reporting deadlines? When do my forms need to be submitted? Pension/Fire Relief Association
What resources are available for my relief association on your website? Pension/Fire Relief Association
How is fire state aid calculated? Pension/Fire Relief Association
When will my relief association receive its fire state aid for the year? How much in fire state aid will we receive? Pension/Fire Relief Association
Where can I find copies of the state laws that govern volunteer fire relief associations? Pension/Fire Relief Association
I am a new trustee for a relief association and I have some basic questions about our pension fund. Whom can I contact? Pension/Fire Relief Association
Which pension plans does the Office of the State Auditor oversee? Pension/Fire Relief Association
One of the requirements for certification for the performance benchmarks program is to provide the Office of the State Auditor with a declaration. What exactly is a declaration? Performance Measurement Program
There is a performance measure for police services, but our city contracts out for public safety services. Would we skip the performance measure dealing with the police services? Performance Measurement Program
When selecting the ten minimum performance measures, do we have to select one from each service category? Performance Measurement Program
How do I register to submit forms through SAFES? SAFES
I'm unable to locate my SAFES password. SAFES
How do I get access to SAFES? SAFES
How do I change my SAFES username? SAFES
How do I change my SAFES password? SAFES
How do I change my e-mail address used by SAFES? SAFES
How do I use SAFES? SAFES
When Does Reporting Begin and End for a TIF District? Tax Increment Financing
Is There an Online Database or List of All TIF Districts? Tax Increment Financing
Can the Public Give Input on a TIF District? Tax Increment Financing
What Is Tax Increment Financing (TIF)? Tax Increment Financing
Who Is Authorized To Use TIF? Tax Increment Financing
What are the Different Types of TIF Districts? Tax Increment Financing