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Government

2017 Local Government Benchmarking Survey Results

Cherry Bekaert is pleased to present the results of our 6th Annual State and Local Government Benchmarking Survey. Based on the feedback from over 150 survey participants, we are able to share these valuable results allowing government entities to compare their own performance, accomplishments and struggles with similar entities across the Southeast. We hope this report will help you better understand how your peers in the region are responding or planning to respond to a wide range of current issues. Highlights from this year’s results include: Competitiveness of salaries was the most common factor attributed to turnover 15 percent of respondents. Read More.

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GASB Chairman Offers Financial Reporting Model Update

In his “From the Chairman” column for the latest GASB Outlook newsletter, Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) Chairman David Vaudt provides an update to the financial reporting model. Vaudt discusses what the GASB has done since issuing an Invitation to Comment last year, such as holding five public hearings and providing updates around the country. He also mentions the GASB’s plans this summer to redeliberate feedback from stakeholders and the public hearings. Vaudt’s “From the Chairman” column can be read at GASB.org.

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GASB Newsletter Discusses New Leases Standard

In its latest newsletter, GASB Outlook, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) highlights the board’s forthcoming standards on lease accounting. Expected to be issued later this month, the new standard is necessary due to the current leasing guidance predating the GASB. The existing guidance also does not consider the conceptual framework, such as the definitions of assets and liabilities. Further, the new guidance will eliminate the distinction between operating and capital leases by handling all leases as financings. The lease standard will be effective for reporting periods starting after December 15, 2019. Read the full newsletter article on GASB.org.

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GASB to Issue Debt Disclosures Exposure Draft

An Exposure Draft by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) is on the way covering debt disclosures. The Exposure Draft, Debt Disclosures, including Direct Borrowing, addresses concerns over the consistency of direct borrowing disclosures by government entities. As a result, the GASB has proposed a definition of “debt” to differentiate it from other long-term liabilities in the footnotes of financial statements. The Exposure Draft is expected to be approved later this month, and will have a 90-day comment period. A final GASB Statement is scheduled for next spring. Further details on the Exposure Draft are available on GASB.org.

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GASB Offers Uniform Guidance on Certain Debt Extinguishment

The latest Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) Statement establishes uniform guidance regarding certain debt repayment methods. Issued on May 15, GASB Statement No. 86, Certain Debt Extinguishment Issues, stems from Exposure Draft No. 19-25E, Certain Debt Extinguishment Issues, which was released in August. GASB Statement No. 86 offers state and local governments guidance pertaining to derecognizing debt defeased in substance. When debt is defeased in substance, debt and monetary assets placed in trust do not have to be disclosed in financial statements. However, governments must disclose information about debt defeased in substance in the financial statements’ notes. GASB Statement No. 86 also. Read More.

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