Government accountants are aware that the hierarchy of accounting for state and local government’s generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) fall in one of two categories. Category A is the official Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statements. Category B includes GASB Technical Bulletins, GASB Implementation Guides and literature of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as cleared by the GASB. Government accountants find the GASB Implementation Guide very useful in that the GASB staff addresses how to apply the Statements in practice through a question and answer format. In March 2016, the GASB published its annual update to the Implementation Guide. They have included several new questions and answers that have not been in previous guides as well as included some amendments to questions and answers from the 2015-1 Implementation Guide. Some of the new questions and answers relate to:
- Disclosures related to deposits with financial institutions, investments and reverse repurchase agreements,
- The financial reporting entity,
- Pensions-employer and plan accounting and reporting,
- Accounting and financial reporting for certain investments and for external investment pools,
- Basic financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis, and
- Postemployment benefits other than pensions.
Accountants should review this update to determine what kind of impact this guide may have on their respective government.
The Implementation Guide No. 2016-1 can be found here. The effective date for the requirements of this Implementation Guide is for reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2016. Earlier implementation is permitted if the pronouncement addressed by the question and answer has been implemented.
By Marilyn Mays, CPA, CGMA