FASAB proposes new standards for accounting and reporting of government land

By Ken Tysiac

A new proposal would change accounting rules for federal government agencies with a goal of creating consistency in the accounting treatment and reporting for land holdings while considering user information needs.

The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) is proposing to:

  • Reclassify general property, plant, and equipment land as a noncapitalized asset.
  • Clarify the definition for the stewardship land category.
  • Require the reporting of general property, plant, and equipment land and stewardship land using three predominant use categories: conservation and preservation land; operational land; and commercial use land.
  • Require consistent and comparable disclosures of information for land (that is, reporting estimated acres of land, physical quantity information, estimated acres of land held for disposal or exchange, and predominant land use).

“The board believes the proposed requirements address concerns that the stewardship and operating performance objectives and qualitative characteristics such as relevance and comparability are not being met,” FASAB Chairman Scott Showalter said in a news release. “The proposed changes would require disclosure of relevant and comparable nonfinancial information in a manner that meets user needs while also considering preparer concerns.”

Comments on the exposure draft can be emailed by July 30 to fasab@fasab.gov.

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

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