Colorado received a transparency score 81 in a recent review of state governments’ annual financial reports, putting the state in a tie for 29th best among all 50 states, according to the policy institute Truth in Accounting (TIA).

States can earn a maximum score of 100 points on the TIA ranking. The categories in the analysis are a clean (passing) independent auditor opinion (50 points), no confusing deferred items (10 points), inclusion of retirement liabilities (10 points), timely publication within 100 days of a fiscal year’s end (10 points), online accessibility (five points), navigable links (five points), use of external auditor (five points) and pension data timing (five points). 

On average, state transparency scores increased six points over the previous fiscal year due to requirements on including worker retirement liabilities, the TIA analysis found. The study used fiscal-year 2018 data, which was the latest year available. 

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States’ Financial Transparency Scores, From Best to Worst

RankStateAuditor OpinionDeferred ItemsOff-Balance Sheet LiabilitiesTimelinessAccessibilityNavigation External AuditorsPension Data TimingTotal Transparency Score
1Idaho509108342288
1North Dakota509108252288
1Nevada508106345288
4Utah507108452187
4Virginia509108440287
4West Virginia505108435287
4Wyoming50988335187
8Indiana509108322286
8Maine507108342286
8South Carolina508610415286
8Tennessee509108340286
8Oregon509108232286
8Washington50988342286
14Georgia507106352285
14Maryland503108225585
14Pennsylvania50778355085
14South Dakota508106432285
18Massachusetts504106345284
18Arizona508104442284
18Hawaii505108315284
21Delaware504108315283
21New York50958225283
23Iowa508108220282
23Kansas50948315282
23Mississippi508102442282
23New Hampshire504106415282
23Oklahoma50858252282
23Rhode Island507106340282
29Alabama50776252281
29Colorado505108232181
31Louisiana507106212280
31Texas50496450280
33Minnesota500108450279
33Montana50898110279
35Florida508104130278
35Wisconsin50568440178
37Kentucky501108222277
37Arkansas507106110277
39Ohio50688112076
40Michigan50846320275
41California503100232272
41Illinois500100442272
43New Jersey500100342271
44Missouri357106442270
45Alaska359104342269
46New Mexico357102115263
47Nebraska355106210261
48Vermont255108413258
49North Carolina253108440256
50Connecticut251106330250

Source: Truth in Accounting