Government Accounting

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) published Statement no. 43, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefit Plans Other Than Pension Plans ( ), which addresses financial reporting by plan trustees or administrators regarding their stewardship of trusts or other funds established to provide postemployment health care and other nonpension benefits—commonly referred to as “other postemployment benefits” (OPEB). The statement supersedes the interim guidance included in Statement no. 26, Financial Reporting for Postemployment Healthcare Plans Administered by Defined Benefit Pension Plans. At press time GASB was planning to issue an additional statement, Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions, that would address employers’ accounting for the costs and obligations associated with their commitments to provide postemployment health care and other nonpension postemployment benefits. Statement no. 43 appeared in last month’s JofA (See Official Releases, JofA , Jul.04, page 102) and also is available from GASB’s order department at 800-748-0659 or on the Web at .

GASB also issued Statement no. 44, Economic Condition Reporting: The Statistical Section ( ), which amends the portions of National Council on Governmental Accounting (NCGA) Statement no. 1, Governmental Accounting and Financial Reporting Principles, that guide the preparation of statistics necessary to assess a government’s economic status. These modifications are in response to significant changes in government financial reporting, as exemplified in the comprehensive provisions of GASB Statement no. 34, Basic Financial Statements—and Management’s Discussion and Analysis—for State and Local Governments. Statement no. 44 (see Official Releases, page 92), which is effective for periods ending after June 15, 2005, is available from GASB’s order department at 800-748-0659 or on the Web at .

GASB issued Technical Bulletin no. 2004-1, Tobacco Settlement Recognition and Financial Reporting Entity Issues, which clarifies accounting guidance on whether a tobacco settlement authority—established to obtain rights to future tobacco-related compensation—is part of the government that created it ( ). The bulletin is effective for periods ending after June 15, 2004, and can be ordered at 800-748-0659 or .

The AICPA governing council renewed—for a second five-year period—its designation of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) as the accounting standards setting body for federal government entities under rule 203 of the Institute’s Code of Professional Conduct ( ). Council based its decision on the recommendation of a panel it appointed to evaluate FASAB’s independence, due process and standards, domain and authority, human and financial resources, and comprehensiveness and consistency.


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.