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Cook County's financial policies have been developed to conform to Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting (NACSLB) best practices; comply with Cook County code of ordinances and State of Illinois statutes; and provide various County entities with sound direction in managing the County’s operations in an efficient and fiscally responsible manner.

An encumbrance is an accounting transaction where funds from a specific budgetary account are claimed for a specific purpose. Encumbrances allow the County to properly fund services that have been rendered and invoiced, but not yet paid. In keeping with best practice for aligning expenditures with the proper appropriation authority by fiscal year, the Bureau of Finance has prepared a County-wide Encumbrance Policy.

To view a summary of the policy please see:


To find answers to some frequently asked questions please see: