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 standard to require disclosure of government tax incentives 
GASB – 08/14/2015
The GASB issued Statement 77, Tax Abatement Disclosures, which requires state and local governments for the first time to disclose information about tax abatement agreements. Governments often agree to abate or reduce the taxes of individuals and corporate taxpayers to promote economic development, job growth, redevelopment of blighted or underdeveloped areas, and other actions that are beneficial to the government or its citizens. The disclosure requirements in Statement 77 are designed to provide financial statement users with essential information about these agreements and the impact that they have on a government’s finances.

GASB issues proposed guidance on external investment pools and component units
GASB – 06/30/2015
The GASB issued two exposure drafts (EDs) proposing accounting and financial reporting guidance related to external investment pools and how certain component units should be presented in a governmental reporting entity’s financial statements.

GASB issues standard to simplify GAAP hierarchy for state and local governments
GASB – 06/29/2015
The GASB published Statement No. 76, The Hierarchy of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for State and Local Governments, which simplifies the structure of the hierarchy of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The GAAP hierarchy identifies the sources of guidance that state and local governments follow when preparing financial statements in conformity with GAAP and lists the order of priority for pronouncements to which a government should look for guidance.

GASB issues three new standards for reporting health insurance and other retiree benefits
GASB – 06/29/2015
The GASB published two Statements that intend to improve the accounting and financial reporting by state and local governments for postemployment benefits other than pensions (OPEB), primarily retiree health insurance. The GASB also issued a third Statement establishing accounting and financial reporting requirements for pensions and pension plans that were outside the scope of the pension standards the GASB released in 2012.

GASB Proposes Enhanced Guidance on Irrevocable Split-Interest Agreements
GASB – 06/12/2015
The GASB issued an exposure draft, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Irrevocable Split-Interest Agreements, proposing recognition and measurement guidance for governments that benefit from irrevocable split-interest agreements. Irrevocable split-interest agreements are arrangements in which a donor transfers assets for the shared benefit of at least two beneficiaries: a government—typically a public college or university or public healthcare provider—and another beneficiary designated by the donor. The donor transfers the assets to either the government or to a separate third party, such as a bank. The proposal addresses when these types of arrangements constitute an asset for accounting and financial reporting purposes in cases where the resources are administered by a third party. The proposal also seeks input on expanded guidance for irrevocable split-interest agreements in which the government holds the assets.

GASB approves standards to improve reporting for retiree benefits and health insurance
GASB – 06/02/2015
On June 2, the GASB voted to approve two Statements that aim to significantly improve the accounting and financial reporting by state and local governments for postemployment benefits other than pensions (OPEB), primarily retiree health insurance. The GASB also approved a third Statement establishing accounting and financial reporting requirements for pensions and pension plans that were outside the scope of the pension standards the GASB released in 2012.

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Final rules

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

GASB Statement No. 77, Tax Abatement Disclosures
GASB – 08/14/2015

GASB Statement No. 76, The Hierarchy of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for State and Local Governments
GASB – 06/29/2015

GASB Statement No. 75, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions
GASB – 06/29/2015

GASB Statement No. 74, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans
GASB – 06/29/2015

GASB Statement No. 73, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions and Related Assets That Are Not within the Scope of GASB Statement 68, and Amendments to Certain Provisions of GASB Statements 67 and 68
GASB – 06/29/2015

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Proposed rules

Proposed GASB Statement: Accounting and Financial Reporting for Certain External Investment Pools
GASB – 06/30/2015
This proposed Statement would permit qualifying external investment pools to measure pool investments at amortized cost for financial reporting purposes. Reporting under the amortized cost basis reflects investment cost and adjustments made for premiums or discounts associated with the purchase price of the underlying investments in the pool. [Comments due - August 31, 2015]

Proposed GASB Statement: Blending Requirements for Certain Component Units
GASB – 06/30/2015
This proposed Statement would enhance existing guidance regarding the presentation of the financial reporting entity in governmental financial statements. The proposed Statement would establish an additional blending criterion for financial statement presentation of component units of state and local governments.  [Comments due - October 2, 2015]

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PwC comment letters

PwC comments on the GASB's preliminary views on lease accounting
GASB – 03/09/2015
PwC encourages convergence between the GASB's and FASB's lease accounting proposals.

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