Government Accountability Office Revises Yellow Book Standards
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) has updated its generally accepted government auditing standards to improve the quality of governmental audits. Commonly known as the “Yellow Book,” the revised standards supersede their 2011 counterparts and provide transparency and accountability for auditors when providing the public with unbiased analysis and information. Some of the changes include reformatting the chapters that distinguish requirements from application guidance, adding a definition for waste and related examples, and specific considerations for when internal control is significant to the audit objectives for performance audits. The revised standards must be applied to financial audits, attestation engagements, and. Read More.
GASB Issues Statement on Interest Cost Incurred Before End of Construction Period
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) has released GASB Statement No. 89, Accounting for Interest Cost Incurred before the End of a Construction Period , which aims to improve the significance and comparability of information on capital assets and borrowing costs for a reporting period. GASB Statement No. 89 also streamlines the accounting for interest cost incurred prior to the end of a construction period. For governments that use the economic resources measurement focus to prepare financial statements, interest cost incurred prior to a construction period’s end must be labeled as an expense during the period wherein the cost is incurred. The interest cost should not be capitalized with the historical cost of a capital asset. For. Read More.
Questionnaire Issued for Actuarial Section of OPEB Plan Reports
A six-page questionnaire to complete with comprehensive annual financial reports (“CAFRs”) for other post-employment benefits (“OPEB”) plans was recently issued by the Government Finance Officers Association (“GFOA”). Questions for the Actuarial Section of an OPEB Plan’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report replaces the actuarial section of the GFOA checklist, Postemployment benefit systems and investment pools. The GFOA advises that the new questionnaire is exclusive to the actuarial section of the CAFRs for OPEBs that have applied Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 74, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans. An update for the entire checklist is expected soon. The questionnaire is available on the GFOA website.
Cherry Bekaert Responds to GASB Invitation to Comment on Revenue and Expense Recognition
On behalf of Cherry Bekaert Partners, David Bettler, CPA, responded to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board’s (“GASB”) Invitation to Comment, Revenue and Expense Recognition . The comment letter includes the Partners’ answers to the Invitation to Comment questions, such as whether or not the Partners believe the performance obligation/no performance obligation model would be appropriate for classifying transactions and recognizing revenue and expense. Bettler’s comment letter is available on GASB.org.
Implementation Guide Issued for Recent GASB Statements
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) has released Implementation Guide No. 2018-1, Implementation Guidance Update–2018 , to help state and local governments apply the latest GASB Statements on pensions, other postemployment benefits, the statistical section, regulatory reporting, and tax abatement disclosures. Effective for reporting periods starting after June 15, 2018, Implementation Guide 2018-1 also features amendments to previously issued implementation guidance regarding important topics. Implementation Guide 2018-1 is available on the GASB website.
General Purpose Preparer Checklist Updated
A checklist authored by the Government Finance Officers Association (“GFOA”) to help prepare comprehensive annual financial reports just received an update. General Purpose Preparer Checklist -2018 covers any pronouncements the Government Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) has issued final documents up to GASB Statement No. 86, Certain Debt Extinguishment Issues. The updated checklist also references GASB Statement No. 84, Fiduciary Activities , even though the standard is not effective yet. One notable change to the GFOA checklist is the format. The complete list of required disclosures is replaced with a new reference tool to help locate any required disclosures in the authoritative literature. The tool will make it easier for preparers to. Read More.