Accounting changes and error corrections are covered in Statement No. 62: Codification of Accounting and Financial Reporting Guidance Contained in Pre-November 30, 1989 FASB and AICPA Pronouncements. The GASB essentially follows guidance that was in place in 1989 from the FASB and the AICPA. Since that time, various standards related to accounting changes and error corrections have been updated, but the GASB has not implemented corresponding updates. The lack of detail and specifics in the GASB guidance resulted in treatment of accounting changes and error corrections that was inconsistently applied between entities and omitted information that could be useful to readers to understand the context of the accounting change or error correction.
In response to that need, the GASB released an Exposure Draft which would amend language in Statement No. 62 that would provide additional information around accounting changes and error corrections. Examples of some of the prescribed elements included in the Exposure Draft are that changes in accounting principles and error corrections would be reported retroactively by restating prior periods, changes to or within the financial reporting entity would be reported by adjusting beginning balances of the current period, and changes in accounting estimates would be reported prospectively by recognizing the change in the current period. The Exposure Draft also would require displaying the aggregate amount of adjustments to and restatements of beginning net position, fund balance, or fund net position, as applicable, by reporting unit in the financial statements.
Comments to this Exposure Draft are due August 31, 2021.
The full text of the Exposure Draft is available here.
Readers should not act upon information presented without individual professional consultation.