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SEC Issues Concept Release on Audit Committee Disclosures

Issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) for public comment is a concept release regarding the current audit committee disclosure requirements focused on the committee’s supervision of independent auditors. The SEC wants to know about the relationship between the audit committee and auditor, and whether changes can be made to improve the information investors are given concerning the audit committee’s responsibilities and activities. Comments are due 60 days from the concept release being published in the Federal Register.

GASB Statements for Reporting Health Insurance and Retiree Benefits Issued

Last week, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) published the following two standards that improve how government entities disclose post-employment benefits other than pensions for accounting and financial reporting: GASB Statement No. 74, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans. GASB Statement No. 75, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions. To assist stakeholders in implementing the Statements, the GASB has posted a “GASB in Focus” fact sheet with frequently asked questions and a video explaining the new standards’ key principles. Also released was GASB Statement No. 73, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions and Related Assets. Read More.

GAAP Hierarchy Simplified to Two Categories

Impacting all state and local government entities, a final statement that simplifies generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) hierarchy has been issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”). Intended to improve financial reporting by having entities apply guidance in less variation, GASB Statement No. 76, The Hierarchy of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for State and Local Governments, condenses the hierarchy from the four authoritative GAAP categories under GASB Statement No. 55 to only two categories. One category includes GASB Statements of Governmental Accounting Standards, while the other category contains GASB Technical Bulletins and Implementation Guides, and American Institute of Certified. Read More.

Going Lean in a Local Government

Have you ever considered applying Lean principles to your local government? Lean is a systematic method for the elimination of waste, which was derived mostly from the Toyota Production System in the 1990s. Recently, governments have been applying Lean principles, making significant improvements in time, costs and/or quality. In 2007, the City of Irving, Texas, began using Lean principles achieving amazing results. Here’s a few to share: Commercial permit process: Plan review time was reduced by 76 percent (15.7 to 3.7 days). Legal Services Request: A 72 percent reduction in cycle time (18.5 to 5 days), and 50 percent reduction. Read More.

GASB Seeks Improved Irrevocable Split-Interest Agreements Guidance

Announced on Friday, June 12th , the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) has released the Exposure Draft, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Irrevocable Split-Interest Agreements. Impacting irrevocable split-interest agreements, the exposure draft offers enhanced recognition and measurement guidance for governments benefiting from such arrangements. Specifically, the proposal addresses when irrevocable split-interest agreements create an asset for accounting and financial reporting when a third party administers the resources. The exposure draft asks for stakeholder feedback about the expanded guidance concerning irrevocable split-interest agreements wherein the government retains the assets. Also, per the proposal, a government receiving resources from an irrevocable split-interest agreement would be required to. Read More.

Draft of 2015 OMB Compliance Supplement Issued

Now available for download on the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ website is the Draft 2015 Circular A-133 Compliance Supplement (Draft 2015 Supplement). Released by the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”), the Draft 2015 Supplement is intended for auditors when planning audit engagements. While the draft is limited to audit planning purposes, the provision could change when made final. The final version is expected to be released by the end of June. For more information on the Draft 2015 Supplement, the experienced professionals of our Nonprofits and Government Services Group are available to assist.