Journal EntriesThis recurring website feature highlights articles from The GASB Report, the GASB’s monthly newsletter. The current article appeared in the November 2012 issue.
GASB Website ResourcesOne of the GASB’s key objectives is to effectively communicate with its constituents, including financial report users, preparers, and auditors. To support this important goal, the GASB makes a variety of resources available through our website, www.gasb.org. While the site is designed to be fully accessible, a number of areas are worth highlighting.
Free Copies of GASB Statements and Proposals
The GASB makes copies of all of its final pronouncements and current draft proposals available for download at no charge. Final GASB documents are available under the Pronouncements tab. In addition to the full text of Statements, Concepts Statements, Interpretations, and Technical Bulletins, links to both summaries and status updates for each of these types of GASB literature also are available in this section. GASB proposals, including Exposure Drafts, Preliminary Views, and Invitations to Comment, are available on the Documents for Public Comment page under the Projects tab.
Projects on the GASB’s agenda—both current and research projects—each have their own page in this section of the website. Individual project pages include recent developments, major tentative decisions, contact information for project staff, and work plan information. The information on active projects is updated after each meeting in which the projects are discussed by the Board.
Information related to the GASB’s research and technical activities may be found under this tab. It includes both full and summary versions of the GASB’s Technical Plan. The Technical Plan, which is updated three times a year, presents detailed information about each of the projects currently being deliberated by the Board and projects for which research is being conducted, and identifies potential future projects.
Do you have a question about GASB standards or state and local government accounting and financial reporting? By filling out and submitting the GASB on-line form—which may be accessed through a link in the Technical Issues section—website viewers may pose questions to GASB staff about the application of GASB pronouncements. Nonauthoritative staff responses will be provided by phone.
Proposed and new GASB standards are often accompanied by a short explanatory “plain-language” article that uses a minimum of technical language. Reading GASB’s pronouncements can be difficult for a couple of reasons. First, depending on the subject matter, the issues addressed can be highly technical. Second, the standards are written in a manner that is intended to ensure that the specific requirements are clearly delineated. This is why the GASB has made a priority of communicating with users of financial reports about its standards and standards-setting activities as plainly as possible.
Available under the Education tab, plain-language articles summarize the issues that the proposals or final pronouncements are intended to address and their key requirements. The GASB also keeps an archive of its plain-language materials. All of the articles, fact sheets, and publications available under the Education tab may be downloaded free of charge.
Take a few minutes to provide the GASB with your contact information for GASB’s confidential constituent database. Sharing that with us helps focus our efforts to obtain input. It also makes you eligible to receive occasional email news updates and to participate in the GASB’s research efforts.
Hard copies of GASB publications, subscriptions, and CD-ROM products are available for purchase through the GASB store. Also available here is the GASB user guide series, which currently provides a nontechnical introduction to the financial reports of state and local governments, and school districts.
The GASB website offers an array of additional resources, including comment letters on proposals issued by the Board, resources designed specifically for users of financial statements, selected articles from The GASB Report, Board member bios, and links to our Strategic Plan, News Center, and Calendar pages.