GASB addresses wide range of accounting issues

By Ken Tysiac

In a new standard issued Monday, GASB addressed a wide range of accounting challenges that state and local government financial statement preparers have encountered while implementing and applying a variety of GASB statements.

GASB Statement No. 85, Omnibus 2017, addresses issues related to blending component units, goodwill, fair value measurement and application, pensions, and other post-employment benefits (OPEB).

The standard addresses the following topics:

  • Blending a component unit when the primary government is a business-type activity that reports in a single column for financial statement presentation.
  • Reporting amounts previously reported as goodwill and “negative” goodwill.
  • Classifying real estate held by insurance entities.
  • Measuring certain money-market investments and participating interest-earning investment contracts at amortized cost.
  • Timing of the measurement of pension or OPEB liabilities and expenditures recognized in financial statements prepared using the current financial resources measurement focus.
  • Recognizing on-behalf payments for pensions or OPEB in employer financial statements.
  • Presenting payroll-related measures in required supplementary information for purposes of reporting by OPEB plans and employers that provide OPEB.
  • Classifying employer-paid member contributions for OPEB.
  • Simplifying certain aspects of the alternative measurement method for OPEB.
  • Accounting and financial reporting for OPEB provided through certain multiple-employer defined benefit OPEB plans.

The requirements in the statement take effect for reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2017, and GASB encourages earlier application.

Ken Tysiac (Kenneth.Tysiac@aicpa-cima.com) is a JofA editorial director.

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