GASB proposes criteria for financial statement disclosures

By Ken Tysiac

A proposed concepts statement issued Friday by GASB would establish new criteria for state and local governments to follow in developing their disclosures for notes to financial statements.

The exposure draft, Communication Methods in General Purpose External Financial Reports That Contain Basic Financial Statements: Notes to Financial Statements, describes the types of information that should be disclosed in notes and the types of information that are not appropriate for note disclosures.

In the document, GASB proposes that certain characteristics distinguish information that is essential to users in making economic, social, or political decisions, or assessing accountability. Those proposed characteristics are that:

  • The information is currently being utilized in users’ analyses for making decisions or assessing accountability; or
  • The information would be utilized if it became available.

Preparers and auditors will be able to use the concepts when they are finalized, to apply the GAAP hierarchy to assess whether certain information should be included in notes when GASB does not provide authoritative guidance.

Comments can be made by April 17 by emailing

Ken Tysiac ( is the JofA’s editorial director.

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