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COVID-19: The Public Sector Waits Patiently as the GASB Considers Postponements

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The Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is working on several projects right now that could provide highly anticipated relief to the public sector.
April 7, 2020

The Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is working on several projects right now that could provide highly anticipated relief to the public sector. Many state and local government organizations are responding to daily operational issues caused by COVID-19 and doing so with a remote or even scaled-back workforce, leaving little time to prepare for annual audits. Many local governments were in the midst of preparing for audits of fiscal years that required them to implement significant financial reporting standards. While some report submission deadlines have been delayed, not all local governments have received deferment in their reporting deadlines, especially if they have publicly traded debt. In response to current events, the GASB is considering the postponement of effective dates of several critical upcoming GASB statements.

The proposed GASB statement expected to be released for public comment on April 14, 2020 would postpone the effective dates of provisions in certain upcoming pronouncements.

The proposed statement would address provisions that became effective or will become effective for reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2018, through Statement No. 92, Omnibus 2020, and Implementation Guide No. 2019-3, Leases. Most notably, that includes Statement No. 84, Fiduciary Activities, and Statement No. 87, Leases, as well as their related Implementation Guides. At this time the revised implementation dates are unknown.

In all, the proposed statement would postpone the effective dates of provisions in eight statements and five implementation guides. The GASB still encourages early implementation, which is important to governments that already have implemented some of those provisions or intend to proceed with implementation under the original effective dates.

For standards and due process documents beyond Statement No. 92, the GASB is considering lengthening effective dates. There are several significant GASB statements and the most notable due process document, an exposure draft from the Financial Reporting Model Reexamination project, on the horizon for the next five years.

Other GASB activities such as interviews and surveys related to projects are on hold until at least June 1.

As always, stakeholders can submit questions regarding standards implementation or other issues directly to the GASB using GASB’s technical inquiry service.

 

Readers should not act upon information presented without individual professional consultation.

Any federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments): (i) is intended for your use only; (ii) is based on the accuracy and completeness of the facts you have provided us; and (iii) may not be relied upon to avoid penalties.

 

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