What is Lapse Period?

Financial data is available in bulk for those who would like to view and query the financial information of local governments in Illinois. All financial data provided is self-reported by the local governments, according to state law. An understanding of Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel is encouraged for analyzing the data. Please refer to the Chart of Accounts and Definitions document, found in the Local Government Help File, for assistance with understanding the data.

For many logistical reasons the State of Illinois cannot close the books on a fiscal year before it ends on June 30. For one, the State does not receive all of the invoices for goods and services it acquired by July 1, which is the day a new budget goes into effect.

Lapse period is a time frame for the State to pay any outstanding bills from a recently expired fiscal year. The deadline for agencies to submit lapse period vouchers to the Comptroller is Aug. 31. The deadline for the Comptroller to process all Fiscal Year 2015 lapse period vouchers is Dec. 31, 2015.

Lapse periods tend to last longer than they otherwise have to when the state spends more money than it collects, and that often postpones end-of-year reviews on how the State spent its money. Antiquated accounting systems certainly play their part in prolonging the state’s financial reporting and auditing requirements, but so do longer lapse periods. After all, comprehensive analysis on the state’s budget priorities cannot take place without all expenditures accounted for.