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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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Financial Accounting Foundation 2016 Annual Report Issued

Now available for download and digital platforms is the Financial Accounting Foundation’s (“the Foundation”) 2016 Annual Report . The report highlights how last year’s standard-setting activities by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) and Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) contributed to decisions made by those who rely on financial reporting. In addition, the 2016 Annual Report includes letters from FASB, GASB, and Foundation leaders, an overview of funding sources for all three organizations, and details on what the Foundation did to support standard-setting activities throughout 2016. An interactive digital version of the 2016 Annual Report includes a video for non-technical audiences entitled “The Importance of GAAP.” The tablet-friendly version also features listings of all three organizations’ advisory groups and their. Read More.

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GASB Issues New Implementation Guidance

Earlier this week, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) published Implementation Guide No. 2017-1, Implementation Guidance Update–2017 . The guidance update addresses questions concerning recent GASB-issued standards and implementation issues. The update also replaces previously issued guidance, and features new questions and answers on the following matters: Cash flow reporting in regard to changes in an employer’s liability to employees for defined benefit pensions or defined benefit postemployment benefits other than pensions (“OPEB”) and an employer’s deferred outflows of resources and deferred inflows of resources related to pensions or OPEB The Financial Reporting Entity Pensions—Employer and Plan Accounting and Reporting Accounting and Financial Reporting for Certain Investments. Read More.

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GASB Statement 85 Addresses Various Practice Issues

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) has issued GASB Statement No. 85, Omnibus 2017, to address the following accounting and financial reporting matters: Merging a component unit when the main government is a business activity being disclosed in a single column for financial reporting purposes. Disclosing amounts that were previously reported as goodwill and negative goodwill. Categorizing real estate held by insurance companies. Assessing specific money market investments and contributing interest-earning investment contracts at amortized cost. Timing of the assessment of pension and other postemployment benefits (“OPEB”) liabilities, and associated expenditures identified in financial statements that are prepared with the. Read More.

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