By David Bean, Director of Research and Technical Activities, GASB
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is making significant changes to how it collects information from governments about the effort required to implement major Statements. The changes will make the process timelier and result in more accurate information to support the GASB’s standards-setting activities. The new process is described in a two-page article recently published on the GASB website.
Under the new process, the GASB will invite governments to volunteer to participate, in addition to its usual practice of inviting a random sample of governments. If you are interested in participating in the process for the implementation of Statement No. 84, Fiduciary Activities, please click here to register.
What does participation entail?
Participating in the new process will not require much effort or time on your part, though the potential benefits to the standards-setting process could be substantial. You will be asked to do three things:
1. Register to participate and answer some questions about the staff hours and non-staff costs associated with preparing your audited financial report for the year before you implement Statement 84. (If your government is still in that fiscal year, the GASB subsequently will send you a link to a website for reporting that information after the fiscal year has ended.) The GASB also will ask you to send it a copy of that financial report.
2. Keep track of the staff hours and non-staff costs specifically associated with implementing Statement 84 as part of preparing your audited financial statements for your first fiscal year ending December 31, 2019 or later. After that fiscal year, the GASB will send you a link to a website where you can report those staff hours and non-staff costs, upload a copy of your audited financial report, and tell the GASB about any parts of Statement 84 that you found particularly difficult to apply.
3. Keep track of the staff hours and non-staff costs in the second year of applying Statement 84. After that fiscal year, the GASB again will send you a link to a website where you can report staff hours and non-staff costs and upload a copy of your audited financial report.
The GASB understands that most governments do not have a system that allows them to track hours and costs related to a particular Statement. However, the GASB hopes that by engaging governments before they implement the standards, governments will be able to keep informal records that will enable them to make an informed and more accurate estimate of the staff hours and non-staff costs required to implement.
The GASB plans to conduct several teleconferences during the summer and early fall to answer questions participants may have about the process and what staff hours and non-staff costs should be included. More information about those teleconferences will be available soon.
Governments that complete the process will receive an official letter from the GASB chairman, thanking them for their participation in this important initiative.
How can you volunteer to participate?
You can volunteer by visiting this website and providing your contact information. Depending on the month in which your fiscal year ends, you also may be asked to answer some questions about staff hours and non-staff costs. You will be able to save the survey and return later to answer those questions if you need additional time.
Email Dean Mead, Senior Research Manager, at [email protected] with any questions you may have about this process. Thank you in advance for considering taking part in this new initiative.