GASB Projects

Major Projects

Asset Retirement Obligation – considers applying landfill closure rules (Statement 18) to other types of assets such as sewage treatment facilities and nuclear power plants. Exposure draft was issued in December 2015. Comments are due to GASB by March 2016.

Fiduciary Activities – The primary objective of this project is to develop guidance regarding whether and how governments should report fiduciary activities in their general purpose external financial reports. Other objectives of this project include assessing whether additional guidance should be developed (1) to clarify the difference between a private-purpose trust fund and an agency fund, (2) to clarify whether a business-type activity engaging in fiduciary activities should present fiduciary fund financial statements, and (3) to consider requiring a combining statement of changes in assets and liabilities for agency funds. Exposure draft was issued in December 2015. Comments are due to GASB by March 2016.

Financial Reporting Model – The objective of this project is to make improvements to the financial reporting model, including Statement No. 34, Basic Financial Statements—and Management’s Discussion and Analysis—for State and Local Governments, and other reporting model-related pronouncements (Statements No. 35, Basic Financial Statements—and Management’s Discussion and Analysis—for Public Colleges and Universities, No. 37, Basic Financial Statements—and Management’s Discussion and Analysis—for State and Local Governments: Omnibus, No. 41, Budgetary Comparison Schedules—Perspective Differences, and No. 46, Net Assets Restricted by Enabling Legislation, and Interpretation No. 6, Recognition and Measurement of Certain Liabilities and Expenditures in Governmental Fund Financial Statements). The objective of these improvements would be to enhance the effectiveness of the model in providing information that is essential for decision-making and enhance the ability to assess a government’s accounting and address certain application issues, based upon the results of the pre-agenda research on the financial reporting model. The project has moved to the GASB Board for further discussion in September 2015. Preliminary Views and invitations for comment is set for Late 2016/Early 2017.

Lease Accounting – To reexamine issues associated with lease accounting in existing guidance and provide a basis for GASB to consider whether operating leases meet the definitions of assets or liabilities. FASB and IASB are currently working on similar lease projects, so GASB is following suit. Preliminary Views issued November 2014. Exposure draft scheduled for the 1st Quarter of 2016.

Practice Issues

Blending Requirements for Certain Component Units – The proposal would require blending of component units incorporated as not-for-profit corporations when the primary government is the sole corporate member of the corporation. Exposure draft was issued in June 2015 and the final statement is expected to be issued in the 1st Quarter of 2016.

Debt Extinguishments – The initial objectives of this pre-agenda research activity are (1) to evaluate the effectiveness of Statements No. 7, Advance Refundings Resulting in Defeasance of Debt, and No. 23, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Refundings of Debt Reported by Proprietary Activities, and relevant sections of Statement No. 62, Codification of Accounting and Financial Reporting Guidance Contained in Pre-November 30, 1989 FASB and AICPA Pronouncements, and (2) to consider the need for revisions to existing standards. An exposure draft is tentatively scheduled for the 3rd Quarter of 2016.

Irrevocable Split-Interest Agreements– The objective of this project is determine what accounting and financial reporting guidance, if any, should be established for irrevocable charitable trusts held for the benefit of governmental entities. Exposure draft was issued in June 2015. The Board is reviewing the respondent feedback and anticipates the final statement to be issued by the end of the 1st Quarter 2016.

Pension Issues – The objective of this project is to consider the need for revisions to certain requirements in Statements No. 67, Financial Reporting for Pension Plans, and No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, as a result of issues raised by stakeholders. Exposure draft was issued in December 2015. The Board will review respondent feedback and prepare the final statement, expected by the end of the 1st Quarter 2016.

Pre-Agenda Research

Debt Disclosures, Including Direct Borrowing – The objective of this research is to evaluate whether the currently required notes to the financial statements are sufficiently meeting the need for debt information for making decisions and assessing accountability. The research will provide the Board with the information it requires to consider the need for new standards or revisions to existing standards and, if that need exists, to develop new or revised accounting and financial reporting standards. Internal review and interviews with preparers and auditors began in December 2015. Results of the research will be reviewed in March 2016.

Going Concern Disclosures – The objective of this research is to evaluate whether the existing GASB authoritative literature has provided preparers of financial statements for state and local governments sufficient guidance about management’s responsibilities for evaluating and disclosing uncertainties associated with severe financial stress (what is now referred to as “going concern” uncertainties). The research will provide the Board with the information it requires to consider the need for revisions to existing disclosure standards, which would be intended to reduce existing diversity in note disclosures and to more effectively meet financial statement user needs. Interviews and research are in progress and the Board anticipates reviewing the results in March 2017.

Revenue Recognition for Exchange and Exchange-Like Transactions – The initial objective of this pre-agenda research is to evaluate the effectiveness of existing standards related to revenue recognition for exchange and exchange-like transactions. In particular, the research will consider whether the current guidance regarding revenue recognition for exchange transactions is sufficient to minimize diversity in practice and to determine if there is an opportunity to harmonize revenue recognition for exchange and exchange-like transactions with the recently issued FASB Accounting Standards Codification ® (ASC) Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. Furthermore, this research will consider whether the information presented in financial statements for revenue from exchange and exchange-like transactions meets user needs for making decisions and assessing accountability. The research will provide the Board with the information it requires to consider the need for new accounting and financial reporting standards and, if that need exists, to develop new or revised standards. Research has just began and initial review of the research is anticipated to occur in March 2016.

 

GASB Statements

Pronouncements effective for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2014. (2015 financial statements):

GASB Statement 68 – Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions—an amendment of GASB 27
Most of the changes from this statement will probably be administered by DRS and provided through the notes in the BARS manual.

GASB Statement 71 – Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions—an amendment of GASB 27
Most of the changes from this statement will probably be administered by DRS and provided through the notes in the BARS manual.

Pronouncements effective for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2015. (2016 financial statements):

GASB Statement 72 – Fair Value Measurement and Application
Shouldn’t require most preparers to change any practices, but may require looking into how you are currently measuring fair value and will require more note disclosures. Mostly adds definitions to fair value measurements concepts that were not specifically defined before.

GASB Statement 76 – The Hierarchy of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for State and Local Governments. This statement reduces the GAAP hierarchy to two categories of authoritative GAAP from the four categories under GASB Statement No. 55.

Pronouncements effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2015. (2016 financial statements):

GASB Statement 77 – Tax Abatement Disclosures
Tax abatements occur when a government offers reduced taxes to a specific taxpayer for the purpose of spurring economic development. This statement requires disclosing information regarding tax abatement agreements such as, the purpose of the tax abatement program, the tax being abated, dollar amount of taxes abated, provisions for recapturing abated taxes, and the types of commitments made by the government and tax abatement recipients.

GASB Statement 78 – Pensions Provided through Certain Multiple-Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans
Addresses pension plans that were not within the scope of Statement No. 68 and amends the scope and applicability of Statement No. 68.

Pronouncements effective for financial statements for periods beginning after December 15, 2016.  (2017 financial statements):

GASB Statement 73 – Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions and Related Assets That Are Not within the Scope of GASB Statement 68, and Amendments to Certain Provisions of GASB Statements 67 and 68. Requires pensions that are not covered under GASB 68 to follow the same requirements.

GASB Statement 74 – Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans
Aligns OPEB plans with existing pension plan standards. Will require changes to actuarial methodology, new note disclosures and new RSI schedule.

GASB Statement 79 – Certain External Investment Pools and Pool Participants
This Statement addresses accounting and financial reporting for certain external investment pools and pool participants. Specifically, it establishes criteria for an external investment pool to qualify for making the election to measure all of its investments at amortized cost for financial reporting purposes.

GASB Statement 79 – Blending Requirements for Certain Component Units
This Statement amends the blending requirements for the financial statement presentation of component units of all state and local governments. The additional criterion requires blending of a component unit incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in which the primary government is the sole corporate member.

Pronouncements effective for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2017. (2018 financial statements):

GASB Statement 75 – Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions
Aligns OPEB with existing pension standards. Will require changes to actuarial methodology, new note disclosures and new RSI schedule.