Journal Entries

This recurring website feature highlights articles from The GASB Report, the GASB’s monthly newsletter. The current article appeared in the January 2011 issue.

GASB Performance Measures: Technical Inquiry Activities

The GASB staff spends a significant amount of time responding to questions (technical inquiries) from its constituents about GASB standards. The following performance measures assess a part of the GASB’s strategic plan objective to “guide and educate constituents about the content and value of the GASB’s reporting requirements and proposed standards.”

Time Required to Complete Inquiries

GASB response times to complete technical inquiries submitted to the GASB in 2010 exceeded goals for responses in the less than one- , two- , and three-week categories, as indicated in the table below. The goal of completing all technical inquiries in less than 4 weeks was not met, though just less than 1 percent of the inquiries during 2010 required 4 or more weeks to complete. There are a variety of reasons why inquiries can take four weeks or more to complete. Some of the more complex inquiries sometimes lead to an extended dialogue between the inquirer and the GASB staff to obtain or clarify specific facts or circumstances and may therefore take longer to resolve.

Technical Inquiries in 2010

Technical
Inquiries Closed

Within


Number of
Inquiries

2010
Cumulative
Percentage

2009
Cumulative
Percentage


GASB
Goals

 

 

 

 

 

0–6 days

 1,465

84.0%

84.8%

80.0%

7–13 days

    200

95.5%

93.9%

90.0%

14–20 days

     46

98.1%

96.6%

95.0%

21–27 days

     17

99.1%

98.2%

100.0%

28+ days

     16

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

1,744

 

 

 

Time Until First Contact Is Made with the Inquirer

Although it may take longer to provide a final answer to an inquirer, the staff actually responds within days of receiving an inquiry in order to acknowledge receipt of the inquiry and to gather additional information. The GASB’s goal is to make initial contact with all inquirers within one week. During 2010, contact was made within a day for more than 65 percent of the inquiries. Contact was made within 7 days in nearly 93 percent of the inquiries received. The GASB is endeavoring to increase those percentages in 2011.

Technical Inquiries in 2010

First Contact with Inquirer Made Within


Number of Inquiries

  2010 Cumulative Percentage

  2009 Cumulative Percentage

 
GASB Goals

 

 

 

 

 

1 day

 1,135

65.1%

64.8%

60.0%

2–6 days

   438

90.2%

90.0%

90.0%

7 days

     43

92.7%

92.7%

100.0%

8+ days

   128

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

1,744

 

 

 

Inquirer Satisfaction with Understandability, Helpfulness, and Promptness

Constituent satisfaction with the GASB’s technical inquiry activities remained high in 2010, substantially exceeding the GASB’s goals. This is significant considering that the volume of technical inquiries increased by more than 7 percent over the previous year. Overall satisfaction reached nearly 95 percent. While certainly a respectable response, it represents a 1 percent decrease from the 2009 overall satisfaction level. The GASB is endeavoring to increase overall satisfaction in 2011.

Technical Inquiries in 2010

 

Measure


Total
2010


GASB
Goals


Total

2009

 

 

 

 

Answers to technical inquiries
  were understandable or
  very easy to understand

 

95.6%

  

90.0%

  

96.7%

 

 

 

 

Person responding to technical
  inquiry was helpful or
  very helpful

  

97.8%

 

90.0%

 

98.4%

 

 

 

 

Person making technical inquiry
  was satisfied or very satisfied
  with promptness of response

 

96.7%

 

90.0%

 

96.7%

 

 

 

 

Overall, person making technical
  inquiry was satisfied or very
  satisfied with the experience

 

94.5%

 

90.0%

 

95.7%

How to Submit a Technical Inquiry

The answers to many general questions (for example, status of a current GASB project or effective date of a Statement) can be found on the GASB’s website, www.gasb.org, or by contacting staff members via email.

Inquirers with questions that include requests for interpretation of accounting standards are encouraged to use the GASB’s web-based technical inquiry system at www.gasb.org. The system can be accessed by clicking the Technical Inquiry System menu item under the Technical Issues tab on the GASB website.