Do you have news or updates that WFOA Members would benefit from?

Email: Stacie Tellers, Professional Rules and Operational Standards Committee Chair


Introducing a new name…

The Legislative and Professional Standards Committee has a new name: Professional Rules and Operational Standards Committee, aka PROS.

Check out our updated committee charter and other committee information here: PROS Committee Page

Added June 14, 2019, By Stacie Tellers


Attention WFOA Members – Seeking Lease Panel Members

The Office of the Washington State Auditor is looking for GASB 87 – Leases implementation pioneers who would like to volunteer to participate in the GASB 87 Leases Panel at the 2019 WFOA Annual Conference at the Yakima Convention Center in September.

These individuals would spend a few minutes discussing their GASB 87 implementation experience, share your challenges, lessons learned, and funny leases stories. This is a great way to help each other get through this process.

The presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, September 18. As an added bonus, registration fees will be waived and meals provided for panel participants for the entire day.

Interested? Please contact Debra.Burleson@sao.wa.gov or Stacie.Tellers@sao.wa.gov for further information.

Added April 18, 2019; By: Stacie Tellers


AVAILABLE NOW!

LEOFF 1: Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) – State Actuary Tool

The State Actuary, on March 21st, released its highly anticipated LEOFF1 OPEB Calculation Tool! This tool is available to Washington State Local Government entities who cover their employees under LEOFF1 ONLY. The tool may be used if these employers have LESS THAN 100 LEOFF 1 members.

To find out more about the State Actuary’s LEOFF 1 OPEB Alternate Measurement Method Tool, please visit their website: Office of the State Actuary OPEB Information

More information regarding OPEB Accounting and Reporting Standards:

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement 75, Accounting and Reporting for OPEB is effective for the Reporting Year 2018 (this year!). What is OPEB? OPEB, or post-employment benefits other than pension, includes benefits such as healthcare provided through a pension plan or separately (medical, dental, vision, hearing, etc.); and other benefits when provided separately from a pension plan such as: life insurance, long-term care, disability, and more.

Statement 75 was issued in June 2015 and establishes accounting and financial reporting requirements by state and local governments for postemployment benefits other than pensions. Statement 75 is the employer reporting statement, GASB issued Statement 74 for the reporting requirements for OPEB Plans (“trusted or in a trust per GASB Standards” OPEB Plans).

Associations across the country have been providing training, implementation guidance, articles, webinar, and more regarding the implementation of the OPEB Statements. In Washington, the Office of the Washington State Auditor (SAO) and the Office of the State Actuary have been working together to provide implementation guidance and tools for Washington governments.

The State actuary has provided alternative measurement tools for both PEBB Plan and LEOFF 1 participants.

SAO has provided notes templates, frequently asked questions answers, and additional information in regards to the OPEB Statements. Please visit their website to view all information that could impact your government: Office of the Washington State Auditor OPEB Information

 Added March 22, 2019; By: Stacie Tellers


Fiduciary Activities – Reporting Standards Update 

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has released and Exposure Draft of the Proposed Implementation Guide- Fiduciary Activities!

Check out the proposed implementation guide here: Exposure Draft – Proposed Implementation Guide, Fiduciary Activities

  • Exposure Drafts are open for public comment. Written comments are due February 28, 2019.

The Exposure Draft is related to the implementation of GASB Statement No. 84 – Fiduciary Activities, which is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018. The financial reports will be impacted as follows:

Fiscal Year End  Financial Reporting Year
December 31st  1/1/19 – 12/31/19
June 30th  7/1/19 – 6/30/20
August 31st  9/1/19 – 8/31/20

 

The Exposure Draft of the Proposed Implementation Guide- Fiduciary Activities contains several questions and answers related to the Statement and are subject to final review by the GASB Board based on feedback received via written comments.

Added January 7, 2019; By: Stacie Tellers


*FREE* Moss Adams Webcast – Leases

Moss Adams is providing a FREE webcast regarding the Governmental Accounting Standards Board’s (GASB) Statement Number 87, Leases, which significantly changes accounting and reporting requirements for lease arrangements. The standard is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2019, meaning it’s a good time to begin planning for implementation.

Join Moss Adams for this FREE webcast addressing important aspects of GASB 87 and its potential impacts on governmental entities—including changes to lease recognition, measurement, and related disclosures for government lessees and lessors. Some key topics they will discuss include the following:

  • Overall scope and objectives of the new standard
  • Timing, transition, and impacts of the changes on your entity
  • Insight into how lessees and lessors can prepare for implementation

This LIVE and FREE webcast will provide 1 CPE for your active attendance in the webcast. Please visit Moss Adams for registration and more details.

Added December 13, 2018; By: Stacie Tellers


*FREE* GASB Webcast – Preliminary Views, Financial Reporting Model Improvements

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has posted the recorded version of their November 7, 2018 webcast that provides information on the proposals in the GASB Preliminary Views, Financial Reporting Model Improvements (Preliminary Views). The areas covered will include:

  1. Recognition concepts and application for governmental funds, including alternative views
  2. Presentation of governmental fund financial statements
  3. Presentation of proprietary fund financial statements
  4. Budgetary comparison information schedule
  5. Communication of major component unit information
  6. Schedule of government-wide expenses by natural classification
  7. Audience question-and-answer session.

The *FREE* webcast intends to allow participants to gain an understanding of:

  1. The scope of the proposed improvements to the financial reporting model
  2. The major proposals in the Preliminary Views
  3. How to provide feedback to the GASB on the proposals.

This is a recorded version of the live webcast therefore there is no CPE or live chat functions available. This is a great opportunity to hear from GASB regarding their Preliminary Views on the Financial Reporting Model Improvements! Click here to access the webcast!

Added December 7, 2018; By: Stacie Tellers


 

Study of the Studies – an Office of the State Treasurer’s Report on the Idea of a State Bank

The Office of the State Treasurer has published the Study of the Studies report on their website. This report is the culmination of thorough review of all the previous studies completed by other states and municipalities on the topic the “State Bank”.

Access the report here: The Office of the State Treasurer’s Study of the Study

Added November 5, 2018: By Stacie Tellers on behalf of the Office of the State Treasurer


Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) – Employer Reporting Requirements are Happening NOW!

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement 75, Accounting and Reporting for OPEB is effective for the Reporting Year 2018 (this year!). What is OPEB? OPEB, or post-employment benefits other than pension, includes benefits such as healthcare provided through a pension plan or separately (medical, dental, vision, hearing, etc.); and other benefits when provided separately from a pension plan such as: life insurance, long-term care, disability, and more.

Statement 75 was issued in June 2015 and establishes accounting and financial reporting requirements by state and local governments for postemployment benefits other than pensions. Statement 75 is the employer reporting statement, GASB issued Statement 74 for the reporting requirements for OPEB Plans (“trusted or in a trust per GASB Standards” OPEB Plans).

Associations across the country have been providing training, implementation guidance, articles, webinar, and more regarding the implementation of the OPEB Statements. In Washington, the Office of the Washington State Auditor (SAO) and the Office of the State Actuary have been working together to provide implementation guidance and tools for Washington governments.

The State Actuary, on November 1st, released its highly anticipated OPEB Calculation Tool! This tool is available to employers who cover their employees under the Public Employees’ Benefit Board (PEBB) ONLY. Employers covered by PEBB can use the tool if they have LESS THAN 100 active and retired employees in the PEBB health insurance (not including covered spouses).

To find out more about the State Actuary’s Alternate Measurement Method Tool, please visit their website: Office of the State Actuary OPEB Information

The State actuary is working on a LEOFF 1 specific tool and plans to release it in early 2019.

SAO has been working hard to provide notes templates, frequently asked questions answers, and additional information in regards to the OPEB Statements. Please visit their website to view all information that could impact your government: Office of the Washington State Auditor OPEB Information

 Added November 2, 2018; By: Stacie Tellers


FREE Training (Webinar) Regarding GASB 87 – Leases

The implementation of GASB Statement 87 – Leases is quickly approaching. Are you ready? Do you need more information?

Crowe – a public accounting, consulting, and technology firm, has put together a 55 minute webinar on this very subject. The webinar provides a summary of the statement and is a great resource to help you get started or to get more information.

This webinar is FREE and available on Crowe’s website: Click here to view the webinar

Added September 28, 2018; By: Stacie Tellers


GASB Clarifies Guidance
on Majority Equity Interests

Norwalk, CT, September 4, 2018—The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has issued guidance clarifying the accounting and financial reporting requirements for a state or local government’s majority equity interest in an organization that remains legally separate after acquisition.

A public hospital’s acquisition of a rehabilitation center that remains legally separate after acquisition is an example of the type of transaction the new guidance addresses.

Under Statement No. 90, Majority Equity Interests, a government’s majority equity interest in a legally separate organization should be reported as an investment if that equity interest meets the GASB’s definition of an investment. In many instances, a majority equity interest that meets the definition of an investment should be measured using the equity method.

Statement No. 72, Fair Value Measurement and Application, defines an investment as “a security or other asset that (a) a government holds primarily for the purpose of income or profit and (b) has a present service capacity based solely on its ability to generate cash or to be sold to generate cash.”

For a majority equity interest in a legally separate entity that does not meet the definition of an investment, Statement 90 requires a government to report the legally separate entity as a component unit.

Statement 90 also establishes guidance for remeasuring assets and liabilities of wholly acquired governmental organizations that remain legally separate. That guidance brings the reporting of those acquisitions in line now with existing standards that apply to acquisitions that do not remain legally separate.

Statement 90 is available on the GASB website, www.gasb.org.

<Copied from: GASB Media Advisory 09/04/18>

Added September 5, 2018; By: Stacie Tellers


Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) Approves Amendments to Disclosure Rules

The amendments approved by the SEC to the Municipal Securities Disclosures on Monday, August 20th have been 17 months in the making. The two new triggering events that will require issuers to make a public disclosure within ten (10) business days of the event are:

    •  Any incurrence of a financial obligation of the issuer or obligated person, if material, or agreement to covenants, events of default, remedies, priority rights, or other similar terms of a financial obligation of the issuer or obligated person, any of which affect security holders, if material; and
    • Any default, event of acceleration, termination event, modification of terms, or other similar events under the terms of the financial obligation of the issuer or obligated person, any of which reflect financial difficulties.

The term “financial obligation” means:

    • (i) any debt obligation (including a lease arrangement that operates as a vehicle to borrow money);
    • (ii) any derivative instrument entered into in connection with, or pledged as security or a source of payment for, an existing or planned debt obligation; or
    • (iii) any guarantee of (i) or (ii).
      • Note: “financial obligation” does not include the securities in which a final official statement has been provided to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MRSB)’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) that are consistent with Rule 15c2-12. (i.e. the normal bond issuance)

The SEC’s decision to implement the triggering events and amend Rule 15c2-12 is to ensure the timely and public availability of various disclosures regarding municipal securities to the investors in municipal securities and other users of the information via EMMA.

MSRB provides information on all the continuing disclosure requirements (required and voluntary disclosures), training on the EMMA Dataport, deadlines, format requirements, and more. MSRB is working to update their information to incorporate the newest amendments to the disclosure requirements. For access to the MSRB Continuing Disclosures website, click HERE.

For more information regarding continuing disclosure requirements:

Added August 23, 2018; By: Stacie Tellers


FREE – Webinar on Fiduciary Activities (GASB Statement 84)

Did you miss the Thursday July 12, 2018 FREE webinar from KPMG Institutes on Fiduciary Activities Accounting and Reporting Under GASB Statement No. 84?

As one of the speakers said, “This Statement is small (28 paragraphs) yet mighty”. Fiduciary Activities could have a large impact on an entity’s fiduciary reports.

This webinar provides an overview of the accounting and financial reporting requirements for fiduciary activities as defined in GASB Statement No. 84, discusses key concepts and their potential implications to governments, and provides information on identifying implementation considerations and timelines. To watch the 2 hour webcast, click the link below:

GASB 84 – Fiduciary Activities KPMG Webcast
The webcast can also be found on the KPMG Government Institute website by clicking the following link: KPMG Government Institute and then clicking on the “Launch Webcast” link found below the CPE Credit(s) information. (Note: CPE is not available on pre-recorded webcasts).

Published by KPMG Government Institute

Added July 13, 2018; By: Stacie Tellers


U.S. Supreme Court Issues Favorable Decision in Remote Sales Tax Case

On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., overturning the outdated physical presence standard. This long-anticipated decision clears the way for state and local governments to enforce existing sales and use tax laws on remote sales. For well over two decades, GFOA and other state and local government organizations have pursued a simplified framework of sales and use tax administration to address the ever evolving and growing online retail marketplace. Until this year, the focus has primarily been on Congress where organizations like GFOA have advocated for legislation such as the Marketplace Fairness Act. Without the authority to impose current sales and use tax laws on many remote and online purchases, states and local governments have lost billions of vital revenue for public services every year.

Upon release of the decision, GFOA joined others in the state and local government community and issued a statement. “State and local organizations applaud the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision recognizing that the 1992 Quill ruling put Main Street retailers at a competitive disadvantage to remote sellers and the efforts by states to simplify the sales tax collection process and giving those states remote sales tax collection authority. For 26 years Congress has failed to act and through the efforts of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the federal government has finally recognized the changing nature of commerce and state efforts to simplify the collection process.”

View the Press Release
GFOA remains committed to finding a solution that simplifies and streamlines the collection of sales taxes that makes sense for all stakeholders involved and finally provides a level playing field that treats all businesses alike, whether selling from a brick-and-mortar store or completely online.

Published on GFOA: GFOA Website – U.S. Supreme Court Decision

Added July 3, 2018; By: Stacie Tellers


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