After $54 million in surplus parks funds were discovered last week, the Department of Finance said it will release findings next week on whether similar pockets of special fund money are hiding elsewhere in state coffers.
The parks money was found in part because state controller's data showed tens of millions more dollars than the Department of Finance reported in its own figures. Finance, which is responsible for building Gov. Jerry Brown's budgets, is now examining all 560 special fund accounts to determine if similar differences exist.
But finance officials have cautioned against a straight comparison between data provided by the Controller's Office and those issued by the Finance Department on their websites.
In many cases, the controller's numbers differ from finance's for legitimate reasons, Finance Chief Deputy Director Michael Cohen said last week. Finance uses budget accounting, which counts money received and spent at different times of the year than the controller does. In a basic example, if a department buys supplies in May but does not pay its bill until August, Finance and the controller may account for the same purchase in different fiscal years.