Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

Website: www.gasb.org

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is the independent organization that establishes and improves standards of accounting and financial reporting for U.S. state and local governments.

Recent Developments – Past 90 days


PwC publications

In brief: GASB issues fair value measurement standard
PwC - 03/02/2015
GASB's newly released Statement No. 72 prescribes how governments should define and measure fair value.

Point of view: The municipal securities market - Greater transparency and comparability of financial information would benefit stakeholders
PwC – 02/24/2014
Greater transparency and comparability of financial information in the muni-market would benefit stakeholders.

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Select news releases

GASB Issues Pension Guidance Addressing Issues Raised by Stakeholders During Implementation
GASB - 04/11/2016
The GASB issued guidance addressing practice issues raised by stakeholders during implementation of the Board’s pension accounting and financial reporting standards for state and local governments. GASB Statement No. 82, Pension Issues, addresses presentation of payroll-related measures in required supplementary information, selection of assumptions and the treatment of deviations from guidance in Actuarial Standards of Practice for financial reporting purposes, and classification of payments made by employers to satisfy plan member contribution requirements. The Statement is designed to improve consistency in the application of the pension standards by clarifying or amending related areas of existing guidance.

GASB issues final guidance on irrevocable split-interest agreements
GASB - 03/29/2016
The GASB issued recognition and measurement guidance for governments that benefit from irrevocable split-interest agreements. Under a typical irrevocable split-interest agreement, a donor transfers assets for the shared benefit of at least two beneficiaries: a government (often a public college, university, or hospital) and another donor-designated beneficiary. The donor transfers the related assets to either the government or to a separate third party, such as a bank. GASB Statement No. 81, Irrevocable Split-Interest Agreements, addresses when these types of arrangements constitute an asset for accounting and financial reporting purposes when the resources are administered by a third party. The Statement also provides expanded guidance for circumstances in which the government holds the assets.

GASB Publishes New Implementation Guidance to Assist Stakeholders with Recent Pronouncements
GASB - 03/24/2016
The GASB issued implementation guidance containing questions and answers intended to clarify, explain, or elaborate on recent GASB Statements. Implementation Guide No. 2016-1, Implementation Guidance Update–2016, primarily addresses questions that have been raised relative to the board’s recently issued standards on fair value and tax abatement disclosures. The Guide also addresses a wide array of practice issues on other topics that have been brought to the GASB’s attention and reinstates certain previously superseded questions and answers that have been updated for the effects of newly issued standards on pensions and other postemployment benefits. The requirements of Implementation Guide 2016-1 are effective for reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2016.

GASB issues guidance on blending requirements for certain component units
GASB - 02/11/2016
The GASB published GASB Statement No. 80, Blending Requirements for Certain Component Units, which is intended to provide clarity about how certain component units incorporated as not-for-profit corporations should be presented in the financial statements of the primary state or local government. Statement 80 clarifies the display requirements in GASB Statement 14, The Financial Reporting Entity, by requiring these component units to be blended into the primary state or local government’s financial statements in a manner similar to a department or activity of the primary government. 

GASB proposes leases standard for state and local governments
GASB - 02/08/2016
The GASB issued for public comment a proposed standard that would establish a single approach for state and local governments to report leases based on the principle that leases are financings of the right to use an underlying asset. Limited exceptions are provided in the draft guidance, including short-term leases (12 months or less) and financed purchases. The proposed standard would provide guidance for lease contracts for nonfinancial assets—including vehicles, heavy equipment, and buildings—but exclude grants, donated assets, and leases of intangible assets (such as patents and software licenses).

GASB issues guidance for external investment pools and pool participants ahead of SEC rule change
GASB - 12/23/2015
The GASB published GASB Statement 79, Certain External Investment Pools and Pool Participants, which addresses how certain state and local government external investment pools and participants in external investment pools may measure and report their investments in response to changes contained in an SEC rule due to take effect in April 2016. Statement 79 permits qualifying external investment pools to measure pool investments at amortized cost for financial reporting purposes. The Statement provides guidance that will allow many pools to continue to qualify for amortized cost accounting.

GASB issues pension guidance designed to assist certain governments
GASB - 12/11/2015
The GASB has published GASB Statement 78, Pensions Provided through Certain Multiple-Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans, to address a practice issue regarding the scope and applicability of Statement 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions.

 

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Final rules

See the GASB's website for a copy of each GASB Statement.

GASB Statement No. 82, Pension Issues
GASB – 04/11/2016

GASB Statement No. 81, Irrevocable Split-Interest Agreements
GASB – 03/16/2016

GASB Statement No. 80, Blending Requirements for Certain Component Units
GASB – 02/11/2016

GASB Statement No. 79, Certain External Investment Pools and Pool Participants
GASB – 12/23/2015

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Proposed rules

Proposed GASB Statement, Leases
GASB - 02/08/2016
This proposed GASB Statement addresses accounting and financial reporting for leases by state and local governments. It would establish a single model for lease accounting based on the foundational principle that leases are financings of the right to use an underlying asset. Under this proposed Statement, a lessee would be required to recognize a lease liability and an intangible right-to-use lease asset. A lessor would be required to recognize a lease receivable and a deferred inflow of resources. [Comments are due - May 31, 2016]

Proposed GASB Statement, Fiduciary Activities
GASB - 12/22/2015
This proposed Statement would establish guidance regarding what constitutes fiduciary activities for financial reporting purposes, the recognition of liabilities to beneficiaries, and how fiduciary activities should be reported. [Comments are due - March 31, 2016]

Proposed GASB Statement, Certain Asset Retirement Obligations
GASB - 12/22/2015
This proposed Statement would establish guidance for determining the timing and pattern of recognition for liabilities related to asset retirement obligations (e.g., decommissioning of a nuclear reactor) and corresponding deferred outflows of resources. [Comments are due - March 31, 2016]

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PwC comment letters

PwC comments on GASB's proposal on blending requirements
GASB - 10/13/2015
PwC supports the GASB’s decision to establish a fourth blending requirement to address situations where a government is the sole corporate member of a not-for-profit organization (NPO) used in carrying out the government’s activities. In this type of NPO, the sole corporate member wields absolute power over the entity’s activities. We agree that in these circumstances, a blended presentation provides the best representation of the reporting entity. We do, however, encourage the board to further clarify the criteria and requirements for blending in additional circumstances, such as those related to non-member NPOs, majority-owned component units, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships. 

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