Government Accounting And Auditing

The GAO publishes its fourth revision of Government Auditing Standards (also known as the Yellow Book). First issued in 1972, the volume contains generally accepted government auditing standards (GAGAS) for audits of government organizations, programs, activities and functions as well as for audits of government assistance to contractors, nonprofit organizations and other nongovernment organizations. The new release supersedes the 1994 version, including amendments 1 through 3, and changes standards in three ways: It redefines the types of audits and services covered, makes the fieldwork and reporting requirements consistent and clarifies the language. The revisions are effective for financial audits and attestation engagements for periods ending—and for performance audits beginning—on or after January 1, 2004, although the GAO permits and encourages early application. The new version is available online at ; printed copies are available from the U.S. Government Printing Office (202-512-1800).

GASB issues Technical Bulletin no. 2003-1, Disclosure Requirements for Derivatives Not Reported at Fair Value on the Statement of Net Assets, which supersedes Technical Bulletin no. 94-1, Disclosures about Derivatives and Similar Debt and Investment Transactions. It applies to derivatives not reported at fair value on the statement of net assets (including balance sheets) and provides an updated definition of derivatives based on FASB Statement no. 133, Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities, as amended. The bulletin’s provisions are effective for reporting periods ending after June 15, 2003, and can be downloaded at no charge from the GASB Web site at or ordered in print form for $7.50 at 800-748-0659 or .

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget revises Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations. This regulation establishes guidelines and policy related to audits of federal awards—also known as single audits. One of the revision’s most significant provisions increases—to $500,000 from $300,000—the minimum award requiring an audit. The new guidance is effective for fiscal years ending after December 31, 2003, and is available online at . Early application is prohibited.

The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) issues Interpretation no. 6 of Federal Financial Accounting Standards, Accounting for Imputed Intra-departmental Costs: An Interpretation of SFFAS No. 4 , to clarify that paragraph 110 of SFFAS no. 4, Managerial Cost Accounting Standards and Concepts, does not limit the recognition of intradepartmental costs, which should be accounted for in accordance with the SFFAS’s full-cost provisions. The interpretation is effective for periods beginning after September 30, 2004, with earlier implementation encouraged. It is available online at and in print from FASAB at 202-512-7350.

The Treasury Department, the Office of Management and Budget and the General Accounting Office—the sponsors of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB)—sign a memorandum of understanding giving the board additional input from the federal government’s legislative branch by adding a member from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) ( ). Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the CBO director, joins FASAB as its tenth member, bringing expertise in economics and public policy as well as additional insight into Congress’s information needs.

FASAB publishes Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards no. 25, Reclassification of Stewardship Responsibilities and Eliminating the Current Services Assessment ( ). The statement changes the classification of certain requirements in SFFAS no. 5, Accounting for Liabilities of the Federal Government, and no. 17, Accounting for Social Insurance, and it eliminates a requirement of SFFAS no. 8, Supplementary Stewardship Reporting.


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