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Financial Policies Tool Kit

MRSC, in partnership with the State Auditor’s Office Center for Government Innovation, has developed this series of online resources to help local governments in Washington State develop and adopt effective financial policies and procedures.

MRSC recommends reviewing and updating your financial policies every year as part of the pre-budget process, to make sure your policies are still relevant and meet your jurisdictions' objectives.

Disclaimer: These resources are presented for informational purposes only and do not represent criteria for legal or audit purposes. They are intended to provide governments with background information, key questions to consider, examples, and links to helpful resources. They are not intended to supplement or replace existing prescriptive guidance in the BARS Manual, issued by the State Auditor’s Office.


Governments and their financial policy needs vary considerably due to differences in size, scope of activities, organizational and staffing structures, contractual and program structures, technology, and the governing body’s values and priorities. There are many different financial policy approaches that may be consistent with best practices and state law, and policies should be designed by each government according to its needs.

Because there is no “one size fits all” approach, our Tool Kit does not provide “model” financial policies or model policy language. Instead, MRSC has created detailed guidance for a number of topics, including best practices, key questions to consider, and examples from local jurisdictions:

Last Modified: September 23, 2022