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GASB Article Focuses on Leases Standard

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) has published an article on GASB Statement No. 87, Leases. Titled “Understanding Costs and Benefits,” the article covers the board’s assessment of the likely costs and benefits of its leases standard. The article also discusses how the GASB concluded that the expected benefits validate the costs, explains the board’s due process in approving Statement 87, and summarizes how governments should apply Statement 87. Issued in June 2017, GASB Statement No. 87 introduces a simplified approach to accounting for and disclosing leases by state and local governmental entities. The GASB based its standard on the belief that leases are. Read More.

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Corp Fin’s Financial Reporting Manual Updated

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Division of Corporation Finance (“Corp Fin”) has revised its Financial Reporting Manual , which provides informal guidance for Corp Fin staff members. Publicly available to help with the preparation of SEC filings, the updated manual includes revised guidance concerning the pro forma impact of adopting recently issued accounting standards. It also addresses the adoption of such standards after an entity loses its Emerging Growth Company status and clarifies the effective dates for certain public companies for Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, and ASU No. 2016-02, Leases, by the Financial Accounting Standards. Read More.

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New GASB Statement on Leases Issued

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) has issued a new single model to help state and local governments report leasing agreements. GASB Statement (“GASBS”) No. 87, Leases, categorizes leases as financing arrangements that allow customers to use the leased asset. Per the standard, governments that act as lessees must report a liability for the contract, as well as report an intangible asset indicating their ability to use the leased item. For government entities that are lessors, they must disclose a receivable for the lease and a deferred inflow of resources. Nonfinancial assets such as vehicles, heavy equipment, and property are. Read More.

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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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Outgoing FASB Member Reflects on Tenure

As his tenure on the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) winds down, Lawrence Smith is looking back on the accomplishments he helped the board achieve. In a letter on the FASB website, Smith highlights efforts of the past 15 years (10 on the board, 5 as staff member) such as the Accounting Standards Codification, the elimination of qualifying special purpose entities, and the new leases standard. Smith also discusses some of his regrets while with the FASB, and recommends future efforts the board should undertake. Smith’s full letter can be viewed on FASB.org.

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ASBCA Holds that Leases are not Necessarily Subject to CAS 404

In Exelis, Inc., ASBCA No. 60131 (29 Aug. 2016), the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (“ASBCA”) held that a concern whether a building lease was a capital lease or an operating lease is not subject to Cost Accounting Standards (“CAS”) 404. In 2007, the Defense Contract Audit Agency (“DCAA”) released its audit of Exelis’ 2004 final indirect cost rates. DCAA questioned Exelis’ lease costs, finding that the building lease was a capital lease instead of an operating lease as claimed by Exelis and that Exelis could only include building depreciation in its indirect cost pool rather than the entire. Read More.

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