Government Accounting

GASB issued Statement no. 49, Pollution Remediation Obligations, to provide more consistency in how governments report the impact of current and prospective environmental cleanup costs. The statement (see Official Releases, page 81) identifies events that trigger recognition of expenses and liabilities, which would be estimated by expected cash flows, the first time the measurement technique will be employed by governments, GASB said. The statement will be effective for financial reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2007.

The Financial Systems Integration Office and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released an exposure draft of a Common Government-wide Accounting Classification Structure (CGAC) for use by all federal agencies. Facilitated sessions to discuss comments are scheduled for February, before the final structure is adopted.

The CGAC—part of the federal government’s effort to standardize the development and implementation of its financial management systems—is designed to reduce the cost and improve the quality of agency financial systems by establishing a standard way to classify the financial effects of government business activities. Federal agencies are expected to adopt the finalized structure when they implement new financial management systems, make major upgrades to an existing system or switch to a shared vendor. Eventually, the CGAC structure will be mandatory for all federal agencies. The ED and the results of an information survey on the topic are available at


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.