GASB Gets Two New Members

T he Financial Accounting Foundation named two new members to serve on the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. Cynthia B. Green, Ph.D., vice-president for state studies of New Yorks Citizens Budget Commission, and Edward J. Mazur, CPA, vice-president for administration and finance of Virginia State University, were appointed for four- and five-year terms, respectively, beginning July 1.

The FAF had voted last October to increase the number of the GASB members to seven from five. An FAF subcommittee also recommended the positions be filled by a financial statement user and a state-level preparer (see box ).

How they voted

The trustees considered whether the expanded GASB should use a supermajority vote to approve projects and standards or should retain its present policy of simple majority voting.

"There were valid arguments both for and against supermajority voting in the standard-setting process," said FAF chairman J. Michael Cook. He told the Journal that in comments on the proposal the FAF trustees received directly from constituent groups as well as in discussions with the GASB, there was virtually no opposition to the proposal to continue simple majority voting for the GASB. "As part of our oversight responsibility, we intend to monitor the effectiveness of the voting process and its impact on GASB standards to determine whether the present voting requirements should be reconsidered," said Cook.

A broader board

Cook said Green and Mazur would "bring a broader perspective to GASB deliberations," and their experience would "enhance the standards boards process and the quality of its work on the important matters it will address in the future."

In 1983, Green joined the Citizens Budget Commission—a 65-year-old watchdog organization devoted to change in the governments of New York State and New York City—where she analyzed New York States finances and communicated her analyses to citizens, the media and government officials. She is a member of the GASBs advisory council, the Governmental Research Association and the Public Works Forum.

Mazur served two years as the first federal government controller under the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990. Before that, he had been the state comptroller of the Commonwealth of Virginia for 11 years. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, the Virginia Society of CPAs and the Association of Government Accountants.

New Model for Schools

T he Governmental Accounting Standards Board issued for exposure a new reporting model for public colleges and universities. The basic financial statements would require an entitywide perspective, a fund-based perspective and a managements discussion and analysis (MD&A). Comments on the exposure draft, Basic Financial Statements—and Managements Discussion and Analysis—for Public Colleges and Universities , are due by July 18.

And Then There Were Seven:
The New Structure of GASB

Cynthia B. Green. Vice-president for state studies of New Yorks Citizens Budget Commission.

State government
Edward J. Mazur. Vice-president for administration and finance of Virginia State University and a former state and federal controller.
3. Tom L. Allen. GASB chairman and former state auditor of Utah.

Local government
Barbara A. Henderson. Retired director of finance and city treasurer of Fullerton, California.
5. Paul R. Reilly. Retired finance director and comptroller of Madison, Wisconsin.

Accounting profession
Edward M. Klasny. Retired partner of Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young).

Robert J. Freeman. Professor of accounting at Texas Tech University.

The new reporting model is designed to respond to the specific needs of the primary users of financial reports—citizens, investors/creditors, contributors and legislative and oversight bodies.

Similar to the new reporting model proposal for government agencies (see "GASB Issues Reporting Model Proposal," JofA, Apr.97), the new model would have public colleges and universities use a dual-perspective presentation. The first—the entitywide perspective—would be prepared on the accrual basis of accounting and would show in one place all of the schools operations. Tom L. Allen, GASB chairman, said the entitywide perspective was intended to provide "a more comprehensive picture of their operations, financial position and cash flows than would be possible if the information was reported only by fund group, as it is now."

The second—the fund group perspective—would present traditional measurements found in the current fund-type-based model. "Schools would have to do very little that is different from traditional accounting to comply with the fund perspective," said John H. Engstrom, a member of the American Institute of CPAs government accounting and auditing committee and a professor at Northern Illinois University.

A split decision

The GASB could not reach a unanimous consensus when voting to approve this proposal. Chairman Allen presented the GASB with an alternative view that would not use the dual-perspective model. "Allen suggested that colleges and universities present entitywide statements as the basic financial statements with the fund group information as required supplementary information," said Engstrom.

One copy of the proposal is available without charge from the GASB order department by calling 203-847-0700, ext. 555.


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