The GASB has issued Implementation Guide 2017-1, Implementation Guidance Update – 2017 which is designed to provide guidance that clarifies, explains, or elaborates on existing GASB Statements. Based on GASB Statement 76, Implementation Guides are considered Category B in the hierarchy of U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.
The first section of this new implementation guidance consists of a series of over 40 specific questions that have either been raised by stakeholders or are anticipated by the GASB to arise during the implementation of recent GASB pronouncements. There are many topics covered in these questions, but some of the primary areas include:
- Specific scenarios of GASB 67 and 68 implementation such as when there are multiple trusts established to accumulate assets or when there are pensions and another benefit paid from the same trust
- Classification of certain benefits as either pensions or OPEB
- Clarification of the minimum level of detail required when reporting fund balances
- Clarification of the accounting for investments held in external investment pools when applying the provisions of GASB 72
- Further examples of how to apply the definition of “tax abatements” when implementing the provisions of GASB 77
The second section of Implementation Guide 2017-1 includes a series of amendments to previously issued implementation guide questions. These amendments are primarily to add further clarity, to reflect the effects of new GASB statements, or to make a technical correction. These changes are summarized in Appendix B of the implementation guide.
Finally, Implementation Guide 2017-1 also contains a nonauthoritative appendix of additional illustrations related to GASB Statements 67 and 68.
Requirements of this new implementation guide are effective for reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2017. Early implementation is encouraged in cases where the pronouncement addressed by the implementation guidance has already been implemented.
The full text of Implementation Guide 2017-1 is available here.
Readers should not act upon information presented without individual professional consultation.