“What You Should Know” – Guides for Local Government

The Latest Rules and Regulations That Impact Your Government Entity

Are you looking for an easy-to understand guide to various government financial statements to offer insight to new governmental financial reporting staff or to new council or Board members?  The GASB (Government Accounting Standards Board) “store” is currently offering several inexpensive comprehensive, yet readily understandable guides in the following areas:

• Government Service Efforts and Accomplishments Performance Reports: A Guide to Understanding (free)
• What Else You Should Know about a Government’s Finances: A Guide to Notes to the Financial Statements and Supporting Information
• An Analyst’s Guide to Government Financial Statements – 2nd Edition
• What You Should Know about Your School District’s Finances: A Guide to Financial Statements -2nd Edition
• What You Should Know about the Finances of Your Business-Type Activities (new in 2012)

These guides offer preparers and readers of local government financial statements the benefit of a number of examples of financial statements tables, and other information which will assist in gaining an in-depth understanding of many of the issues which arise in government financial reporting including:

• An overview of governmental accounting and financial reporting
• Financial statement examples, including note disclosures and schedules
• An introduction to basic financial ratios used in the analysis of government financial reporting
• Annotations which provide background and insight into issues raised in the text

While this isn’t meant to be a commercial for GASB products, these items can become a very inexpensive ($19.95 or less, each) tool designed to provide a comprehensive but easy-to understand guide to people new to the process of preparation, or new to reading and understanding various government financial statements.  Consider the time and effort saved in presenting financial statement information to new or inexperienced Board or Council members, if they can be educated in advance.  Additional information can be found at www.gasb.org.

Jill Collins