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 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.

FAF issues post-implementation review report on GASB Statements 33 and 36 on nonexchange transactions
GASB - 11/17/2015 
The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), the oversight body of the GASB, has published its Post-Implementation Review (PIR) Report on GASB Statements No. 33, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Nonexchange Transactions, and No. 36, Recipient Reporting for Certain Shared Nonexchange Revenues. The PIR Report addresses technical, operational, and cost-effectiveness aspects of the two Statements. The PIR Report concluded that the accounting and financial reporting standards for state and local governments that address nonexchange transactions achieved their purpose. 

GASB proposes changes to pension standards for certain governments
GASB - 10/14/2015
The GASB published an exposure draft titled Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions Provided through Certain Multiple-Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans, which is intended to assist governments that participate in certain multiple-employer pension plans to meet the reporting requirements of GASB Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions. Specifically, it addresses concerns regarding the inability of governments whose employees are provided pension benefits through multiple-employer pension plans to obtain information (e.g., measurements and other relevant data points) needed to comply with the requirements of the Statement.

GASB summarizes cost and benefits of new standards related to other postemployment benefits
GASB - 10/06/2015
The GASB published a document titled Understanding Costs and Benefits: Other Postemployment Benefits, which summarizes how the board considered the expected costs and benefits of its new standards related to other postemployment benefits (OPEBs): GASB Statement No. 74, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans, and GASB Statement No. 75, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions. The document also summarizes the process the GASB undertook to conclude that the expected benefits of the amendments in the new GASB Statements justify the anticipated costs. 

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Final rules

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

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

GASB Statement No. 78, Pensions Provided through Certain Multiple-Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans
GASB – 12/11/2015

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Proposed rules

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]

Proposed GASB Statement, Pension Issues
GASB - 12/22/2015
This proposed Statement addresses practice issues raised by stakeholders during the implementation of Statements No. 67, Financial Reporting for Pension Plans, and No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions. Specifically, it address issues regarding (1) the presentation of payroll-related measures in required supplementary information, (2) the selection of assumptions and the treatment of deviations from the guidance in Actuarial Standards of Practice for financial reporting purposes, and (3) the classification of payments made by employers to satisfy employee (plan member) contribution requirements. [Comments are due - February 12, 2016]

Proposed GASB Statement: Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions Provided through Certain Multiple-Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans
GASB – 10/15/2015
The objective of this proposed Statement is to address a practice issue regarding the scope and applicability of Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions. This issue relates to pensions provided through certain multiple-employer defined benefit pension plans and state or local governmental employers whose employees are provided with such pensions. [Comments due - November 16, 2015]

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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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