The state and local government agencies that make up Louisiana’s judicial system collect court costs, fines, and fees that are in turn either retained or disbursed to other agencies. These agencies report the collection, disbursement, and subsequent receipt of court costs in their annual financial reports that are submitted to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor.
State government agencies and local government agencies and quasi-public organizations (local auditees) that report to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor are required by the audit law (Louisiana Revised Statute (R.S.) 24:514) to prepare their annual financial reports in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). While the use of GAAP for financial reporting ensures consistency and comparability among the reports of like entities, financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP may not provide the types of information that is needed by all users of a report.
Act 87 of the 2020 Regular Legislative Session enacted R.S. 24:515.2 to require the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA) and the Louisiana Supreme Court (LSC) to develop a uniform reporting format for local and state entities that assess, collect, or receive revenue from pre- or post-adjudication costs, fines, and fees. The uniform reporting format must include, at a minimum, the amounts of all pre- and post-adjudication court costs, fines, and fees assessed or imposed; the amounts collected; the amounts outstanding; the amounts retained; the amounts disbursed; and the amounts received from disbursements.
To satisfy the requirements of Act 87, LLA and LSC developed reporting schedules that must be included in the audit, review/attestation and compilation reports of agencies that collect, disburse, and/or receive court costs, fines and fees, beginning with fiscal years ended on or after December 31, 2020. These schedules are over and above what is required by GAAP.
These Act 87 schedules, along with instructions, examples, and a frequently-asked questions document, may be found in the Practice Aids and Related Documents section of the Louisiana Governmental Audit Guide:
- The Collecting/Disbursing Entity Schedule, to be included in the annual financial reports of agencies (e.g., sheriffs, mayor’s courts) that collect and/or disburse pre- or post-adjudication costs, fines, and fees to other Receiving Entities.
- The Receiving Entity Schedule, to be included in the annual financial reports of agencies (e.g., parish governments, public defenders, Crime Stoppers organizations) that receive pre- or post-adjudication costs, fines, and fees from Collecting/Disbursing Enties.
The Act 87 schedules must be prepared on the cash basis, and included in the supplementary information within the agency's financial statements. If the schedules are included in an audit report with an unmodified opinion, the CPA performing the audit engagement must include an in-relation-to opinion on the schedules. The CPA should consult the professional standards on the type of opinion that may be rendered on supplementary information when a modified opinion is rendered on the financial statements as a whole.
When a CPA submits a local auditee's report that includes the Act 87 schedules to LLA through the Local Government Reporting System, the CPA is also required to submit a separate copy of the Act 87 schedules only, in Excel format, through the Local Government Reporting System.
Justices of the peace and constables are not required to include the Act 87 schedules in their annual financial reports; nor are agencies that do not collect, disburse or receive court costs, fines or fees, and therefore have nothing to report.