NEWS RELEASE 12/29/05

GASB Publishes Implementation Guide to Statement 44 on the Statistical Section

Norwalk, CT, December 29, 2005—As a part of its mission to guide and educate the public about its standards, the Governmental Accounting Standard Board (GASB) has published a Guide to Implementation of GASB Statement 44 on the Statistical Section. The guide was prepared by GASB staff primarily to assist preparers and auditors of governmental financial statements and those that advise them as they implement the updated and expanded statistical section. The statistical section is the part of a state or local government’s comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) that presents trend information for the last ten years about a government’s financial results, major revenue sources, outstanding debt, economic and demographic indicators, and operating activities.

The Implementation Guide contains over 120 questions and answers on important aspects of Statement 44, including:

  • Presenting newly required information, such as net assets, changes in net assets, fund balance, and total outstanding debt
     
  • Identifying a government’s most significant own-source revenue and its overlapping governments
     
  • Calculating total direct rates, debt ratios, overlapping debt, and debt limit information
     
  • Obtaining and reporting demographic and economic information
     
  • Selecting appropriate trend information about government employees, operating indicators, and capital assets. 

The questions and answers are accompanied by more than 160 illustrations, including complete sample statistical sections, alternative formats, and optional schedules for nine types of governments—local, county, and state general purpose governments, a school district, a library district, a public university, a water and sewer authority, an airport, and a retirement system. The Guide also includes a glossary, topical index, and the Standards section of Statement 44.

“Statement 44 revises the statistical section for the first time in twenty-five years, so governments have been seeking help in adopting the new guidelines,” said GASB project manager Dean Mead, the principal author of the guide. “The Guide should be valuable not only to general purpose governments, but also to special-purpose governments, such as colleges, utilities, and special districts, for which no specific guidance was previously available.”

The Implementation Guide (product code GQA44) can be ordered through the GASB’s order department at 800-748-0659 or via its website at www.gasb.org.

About Statement 44 and the Statistical Section

Issued in 2004, GASB Statement No. 44, Economic Condition Reporting: The Statistical Section, updated the statistical section to encompass the new information resulting from GASB Statement 34 and other developments in government finance over the past two decades. Statement 44 identified the specific information required by the statistical section standards and set forth the overarching objectives of statistical section information. The statistical section provides crucial data to many different kinds of consumers of governmental financial information, ranging from municipal credit analysts to state legislators, city council members, oversight bodies, and citizen and taxpayer organizations. Governments that prepare a CAFR are required to implement Statement 44 for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2005.


About the Governmental Accounting Standards Board

The GASB is the independent, not-for-profit organization formed in 1984 that establishes and improves financial accounting and reporting standards for state and local governments. Its seven members are drawn from the Board’s diverse constituency, including preparers and auditors of government financial statements, users of those statements and members of the academic community. More information about the GASB can be found at its website, www.gasb.org.