Offensive acronym leads to GASB's name change proposal

By Ken Tysiac

An offensive-sounding acronym led to GASB’s proposal Tuesday to change the name of the “comprehensive annual financial report” to the “annual comprehensive financial report.”

The acronym for “comprehensive annual financial report” sounds like an ethnic slur that ranks among the most offensive terms in South African English.

GASB issued an exposure draft, The Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, to explain the proposed change. Aside from the name, no substantive changes will be made to the report as a result of the proposal.

The proposal was made after stakeholders raised concerns that the existing acronym sounded like the offensive term. GASB consulted with various groups and added the project to its agenda in December of last year.

“When you pronounce the acronym, it is a highly offensive racial slur directed toward Black South Africans,” GASB Chair Joel Black said in a media advisory. “As we and our stakeholders are part of a global community, we do not wish to be offensive to anyone, so we have undertaken the project to address this.”

Comments are sought by July 9 and can be emailed to director@gasb.org.

Ken Tysiac (Kenneth.Tysiac@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA’s editorial director.

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