Journal EntriesThis recurring website feature highlights articles from The GASB Report, the GASB’s monthly newsletter. The current article appeared in the September 2010 issue.
GASB Requests Input on Emerging IssuesAlthough some of the GASB’s time is spent monitoring practice for developing issues in governmental accounting and financial reporting, those who prepare, audit, and use governmental financial statements are best positioned to identify potential practice issues when they arise. As a result, the Board depends on its constituents to help identify emerging issues that may require its attention. The GASB’s agenda is full; however, the Board remains committed to addressing important emerging issues that are faced by state and local governments as they arise.
How Issues Come to the Board’s Attention
The GASB has several processes in place that assist its staff in identifying emerging issues. These include the activities of its advisory council, the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council (GASAC), which meets three times a year to, among other things, consider whether there are matters that the GASB should investigate. Constituents also indirectly help the GASB identify potential issues when they contact its staff with questions about its standards. The GASB tracks the technical inquiries that it receives, and if a number of questions about a particular topic are posed, the Board, GASAC, and staff consider whether there may be an issue that requires further consideration.
In addition to these procedures, the GASB encourages constituents to notify its staff if issues come to their attention, including raising those issues at constituent liaison meetings and presentations made by the Board members and staff at conferences around the country.
How to Notify the GASB of Potential Accounting IssuesIf you are aware of new issues for which accounting and financial reporting guidance is needed or any issues with the interpretation or implementation of GASB standards or with the financial reporting information that results from application of existing guidance, please let the GASB know. Potential concerns can be sent via email to the GASB’s Director of Research and Technical Activities at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, a letter can be sent to:
Director of Research and Technical Activities
401 Merritt 7
PO Box 5116
Norwalk, CT 06856-5116
When submitting a description of an issue, please be sure to include your name and contact information so that the staff can follow up with you. Matters brought to the GASB’s attention will be explored by the staff and, based on the results of that review, may be considered either for addition as a project on the GASB’s technical agenda along with competing projects or for inclusion in a question and answer in the GASB Comprehensive Implementation Guide.