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SEC’s Gallagher Wants More Pension Plan Accounting Amendments

Last month at the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s securities regulator summit, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Daniel Gallagher voiced concerns over the Governmental Accounting Standards Board’s (“GASB”) lack of amendments regarding pension plan accounting for state and local governments. Despite praising GASB Statement (GASBS) No. 67, Financial Reporting for Pension Plans, and GASBS No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, for being a good starting point, the SEC Commissioner believes more amendments requiring state and local governments to publicly disclose complete range of their pension obligations and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) are necessary. Currently, it is estimated. Read More.

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Results of Cherry Bekaert’s 2014 Local Government Benchmarking Survey

Encouraged by increased participation over the past two years, Cherry Bekaert recently undertook the 3rd Edition of our Local Government Benchmarking Survey. In preparation for this year’s survey, we listened to respondent feedback and modified our 2014 survey questions accordingly. Conducted in March, the survey included participants from 180 government operational and financial leaders throughout the Southeast. We are pleased to present the results of this year’s survey, as well as share our three-year trend analysis data.

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How Do I Measure Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…

In March, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) issued Concepts Statement No. 6, Measurement of Elements of Financial Statements. Concepts Statements do not set accounting or financial reporting standards; they provide objectives and principles which GASB can use as a basis for establishing consistent accounting and financial reporting standards in the future. Any existing standards which are inconsistent with this statement are not changed by this statement. So, just how many ways are there to measure an asset or liability? First, there are two measurement approaches: Initial-Transaction-Date-Based (“initial amount”): Measurement is based on the transaction price or amount assigned when. Read More.

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GASB Proposes Drafts on Pension Plan and Health Benefits

Expected to be released in mid-June, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) has proposed three new exposure draft proposals. Voted on at the GASB’s recent meeting, two of the exposure drafts would improve state and local governments’ financial reporting for other postemployment benefits (OPEB), like retiree health insurance. Per the two OPEB drafts, governments would also be obligated to list net OPEB liabilities on their financial statements similar to the treatment for pensions under GASB 68. This is expected to improve the understanding of OPEB commitments from what government employers currently offer. The OPEB exposure drafts feature: Accounting and Financial. Read More.

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OMB Releases 2014 Compliance Supplement

Earlier this week, the U.S. Office of Management (“OMB”) issued its 2014 OMB Circular A-133 Compliance Supplement (“the Supplement”). Viewed as essential guidance for performing single audits, the Supplement recognizes important compliance requirements the government expects to be considered for auditing. The Supplement is also seen as a source for auditors to better understand federal program objectives, procedures and other valuable information. Effective for fiscal year audits beginning after June 30, 2013, some of the changes to this year’s Compliance Supplement include: Changes to the Matrix of Compliance Requirements, which was revised to add and remove programs for consistency purposes;. Read More.

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AICPA’s SLGEP & Audit and Attest Standards Team Release New Auditing Interpretations

After hosting multiple discussions concerning the issues facing accounting and auditing implementation for government pension plans and participants, and their auditors due to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board’s (“GASB”) recent pension accounting standards, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“AICPA”) State and Local Governments Expert Panel (“SLGEP”) and AICPA Audit and Attest Standards Team have come together to issue three auditing interpretations for guidance. The three audit interpretations are as follows: Interpretation No. 2, “Auditor of Participating Employer in a Governmental Cost-Sharing Multiple-Employer Pension Plan,” of AU-C section 500, Audit Evidence: This interpretation clarifies the audited financial statements of. Read More.

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