Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) – The GASB is the independent organization that establishes and improves standards of accounting and financial reporting for U.S. state and local government

 

Washington State Auditor’s Office – The Office of the Washington State Auditor holds state and local government accountable for the use of public resources and has the statutory authority to audit every and all governments in the state.

  • BARS Manual – provides local governments with the standardized chart of accounts they must use to report their  revenues, expenditures and expenses to the State Auditor’s Office every year.
  • Resource Database – provides governments with an abundance of checklists, templates, tools, guidance, examples, case study information, and more.
  • Audit Connection Newsletter – provides updates from the State Auditor’s Office, BARS Changes, Reporting Requirement updates, workshops and trainings, and other news.

GASB:

GASB Statements for current and future reporting years

Major Projects

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.

Public-Private Partnerships, including Reexamination of Statement 60– The objective of this project is to address accounting and financial reporting for public-private partnerships (P3s). The project will consider (1) potential amendments to Statement No. 60, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Service Concession Arrangements, and potential amended or new implementation guidance to better address accounting and financial reporting for service concession arrangements (SCAs) within its scope, and (2) potential additional accounting and financial reporting guidance for other types of public-private partnerships not within the scope of Statement 60 or subject to the provisions of Statement No. 87, Leases.

Revenue and Expense Recognition– The objective of this project is to develop a comprehensive application model for the recognition of revenues and expenses that arise from nonexchange, exchange, and exchange-like transactions, including guidance for exchange transactions that have not been specifically addressed in the current literature. The purpose for developing a comprehensive model is (1) to improve the information regarding revenues and expenses that users receive to make decisions and assess accountability, (2) to provide guidance regarding exchange and exchange-like transactions that have not been specifically addressed, (3) to evaluate revenue and expense recognition in the context of the conceptual framework, and (4) to address application issues identified in practice, based upon the results of the pre-agenda research on revenue for exchange and exchange-like transactions.

Practice Issues

Conduit Debt – Reexamination of Interpretation 2– The initial objectives of this pre-agenda research are (1) to evaluate the effectiveness of GASB Interpretation No. 2, Disclosure of Conduit Debt Obligations, and (2) to consider the need for revisions to existing standards. If additional guidance is determined to be needed, another objective will be to consider the development of revised accounting and financial reporting standards for conduit debt.

Equity Interest Ownership Issues– This project will address certain issues related to the reporting of majority equity ownership in legally separate entities. The project will consider improvements to the existing guidance in Statement No. 14, The Financial Reporting Entity, on the presentation of ownership interest in a legally separate entity. The project also will consider improvements to the recognition and measurement guidance for wholly-owned legally separate entities that are presented as component units.

Implementation Guide for Statement 84 on Fiduciary Activities – The objective of this project would be to publish question-and- answer guidance to assist state and local governments and other stakeholders in addressing implementation issues associated with Statement No. 84, Fiduciary Activities.

Implementation Guide for Statement 87 on Leases – The objective of this project is to publish question-and-answer guidance to assist state and local governments and other stakeholders in addressing implementation issues associated with Statement No. 87, Leases.

Information Technology Arrangements, including Cloud Computing – The objective of this project is to address accounting and financial reporting for cloud computing arrangements (CCAs). The project will consider (1) potential accounting and financial reporting guidance for CCAs that are not addressed in current guidance and (2) potential amendments to Statement No. 51, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Intangible Assets, and related questions and answers in the Comprehensive Implementation Guide.

 

Pre-Agenda Research

Deferred Compensation Plans – Reexamination of Statement 32– The initial objectives of this pre-agenda research are to evaluate the effectiveness of Statement No. 32, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Internal Revenue Code Section 457 Deferred Compensation Plans, as amended, by (1) assessing the changes in the characteristics of the plans subject to Statement 32 (hereinafter referred to as Section 457 plans) since the issuance of Statement 32, and (2) considering whether existing requirements provide users of financial statements with essential information. As part of that evaluation, this research will consider whether Section 457 plans sufficiently differ from pension plans to warrant different financial reporting requirements.

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.

Note Disclosures – The objective of this pre-agenda research is to evaluate whether currently required note disclosures are sufficiently meeting the information needs of the users of state and local government financial reports. The research will provide the Board with the information necessary to consider whether additional or revised guidance is needed and, if so, to support deliberations over specific note disclosure requirements.