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Preliminary Views on Fiduciary Responsibilities and Lease Accounting Issued

Agreed upon at its three-day meeting last month, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) has published two documents in the form of Preliminary Views (PV) for public comment. Issued on November 20th, the early-stage rulemaking documents address the reporting of fiduciary responsibilities and lease obligations on financial statements. PV No. 3-13P, Financial Reporting for Fiduciary Responsibilities, details the board’s viewpoint on reporting a government’s actions as a trustee or custodian for assets managed by another party. The document also considers how the GASB could state when a government has a fiduciary responsibility and is obligated to submit fiduciary fund financial. Read More.

Jan Sylvis Named GASB Vice Chair

Last week, the Financial Accounting Foundation’s (“FAF”) Board of Trustees (“the Board”) announced that Jan Sylvis has been appointed to Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) vice chair. In this reinstated role effective January 1, 2015, she will focus on expanding GASB’s outreach to stakeholders. Currently chief of accountants for the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, Sylvis will serve the Board on a part-time basis. For the news release on Sylvis’ appointment, visit the FAF’s website. Also, Cherry Bekaert’s Government Services Group provides effective consulting, audit and compliance services to local and state governmental entities across the country. Check out our Government industry. Read More.

Exposure Draft on Tax Abatement Disclosures Issued

Providing financial statement users guidance on tax abatement programs, an exposure draft for the proposed Tax Abatement Disclosures (Statement) has been issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. Open for public comment, the proposed guidance focuses on tax abatements stemming from agreements entered into by a reporting government, along with those originated by other governments that cut the reporting government’s tax revenues. If approved, the Statement would mark the first time state and local governments are required to reveal information regarding property and other tax abatement agreements. Particularly, governments would have to disclose general information like the tax being abated, number of. Read More.

City Finance Officers Report Improved Fiscal Conditions

Despite factors like increased service costs and lower government aid continuing to put a strain on U.S. cities, statistics from the National League of Cities’ latest City Fiscal Conditions Survey reveal fiscal conditions are still on the upswing since the Great Recession. Per the 2014 survey, more city finance officers (80 percent) are reporting better conditions this year than any other time in the survey’s 29-year history. Additionally, for the first time in six years, more cities have increased their municipal workforces instead of decreasing the size. City finance officers are also predicting property tax revenues to experience their first. Read More.

Super Circular 101 Webinar Recording Now Available

For those who missed the October 9th webinar, “Super Circular 101—Proposed New Regulations for Grant Requirements and Compliance”, the recording is currently available on-demand. Featuring Cherry Bekaert’s Melisa Galasso and Carlene Kamradt, the webinar discusses the Office of Management and Budget-issued “Super Circular” that combines requirements from eight grant circulars into one set of guidance. To watch the replay, click here and complete the form.

New GASB Pension Rules’ Impact on Bond Ratings

Affecting state and local governments that issue bonds assessed by rating agencies, Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) Statements No. 67 and No. 68 feature new pension reporting rules that add significant liabilities to governmental balance sheets. Effective earlier this year, the new rules have concerned numerous plan sponsors, as well as are potentially detrimental to government budgets that rely heavily on state and municipal bonds for funding. However, the new reporting rules will not impact most public plan sponsors’ credit ratings, and each locality should become aware of what rating agencies are intending to do. For the full article , visit the. Read More.

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