Government


  GASB released a statement that incorporates accounting and financial reporting guidance, which was previously only contained in the AICPA’s auditing literature, into GASB’s financial reporting literature for state and local governments. Statement no. 56, Codification of Accounting and Financial Reporting Guidance Contained in the AICPA Statements on Auditing Standards, addresses three issues from the AICPA’s literature: related-party transactions; going-concern considerations; and subsequent events.

 

The statement makes no substantive changes in bringing existing guidance into GASB’s body of standards. It is part of GASB’s continuing effort to codify GAAP for state and local governments into a single source, which is intended to make it easier for preparers of state and local government financial statements to identify and apply relevant accounting guidance.

 

Statement no. 56 is effective immediately. A copy can be purchased for $19.50 at www.gasb.org or by calling 800-748-0659.

 

  GASB released its Guide to Implementation of Statement 53 on Derivative Instruments . The guide assists preparers and auditors of government financial statements and those who advise them in implementing Statement no. 53, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Derivative Instruments. The new standard applies in fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2009.

 

The guide includes answers to more than 100 questions that may arise in implementing the new standard. Journal entries have been added to support the transactions in the illustrations that were included in Statement no. 53.

 

The Guide to Implementation of Statement 53 on Derivative Instruments, which costs $40, can be ordered at www.gasb.org.

 

  The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported several continuing and new internal control deficiencies in the federal government’s preparation of consolidated financial statements (CFS) for fiscal year 2008. Financial audit GAO-09- 387, Material Weaknesses in Internal Control Continue to Impact Preparation of the Consolidated Financial Statements of the U.S. Government, said the deficiencies contributed to material weaknesses in internal control over the federal government’s ability to:

 

1. Adequately account for and reconcile intragovernmental activity and balances between federal agencies;

 

2. Ensure the CFS were consistent with the underlying audited agency financial statements, properly balanced and in conformity with U.S. GAAP; and

 

3. Identify and either resolve or explain material differences between components of the budget deficit reported in the Treasury Department’s records and related amounts reported in federal agencies’ financial statements and underlying financial information and records.

 

Of the 56 open recommendations the GAO reported in June 2008, 16 were closed and 40 remained open as of Dec. 9, 2008. The complete financial audit is available at www.gao.gov.

 

Since the GAO’s first audit of the fiscal 1997 CFS, material weaknesses in internal control and other limitations on the scope of the GAO’s work have prevented the agency from expressing an opinion on the accrual basis CFS.

 

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