The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) has issued a proposal that would permit a federal government reporting entity to apply alternative methods in establishing opening balances for general property, plant, and equipment (PP&E).
The proposal was prompted by a Department of Defense request for guidance on establishing opening balances for general PP&E.
“The board is seeking less costly alternatives for [the Department of Defense] to establish opening balances,” FASAB Chairman Tom Allen said in a news release. “A cost-effective means to adopt GAAP may facilitate needed progress. We considered the costs and benefits and concluded that establishing a sound financial management system is of primary importance.”
The alternative methods would include:
- Use of deemed cost to establish opening balances of general PP&E.
- Selecting between deemed cost and prospective capitalization of internal-use software.
- Exclusion of land from opening balances with disclosure of acreage information.
The alternative methods would be available only when presenting information using GAAP for the first time or after a period during which existing systems could not provide the information necessary for producing such GAAP-based financial statements without use of the alternative valuation method. The application of this proposal based on the second condition would be available to a reporting entity just once per line item addressed in the proposal.
Comments are requested by email at firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 4.
—Ken Tysiac (email@example.com) is a JofA editorial director.