2006 Constituent Perception Study

August 2006

Dear GASB Constituents:

Meeting the needs of our constituents remains GASB's number one priority.

This commitment is reflected in our standard setting and technical activity, but it doesn't just end there. Our current strategic plan also calls for us to place a significant focus on engaging, educating, and communicating with you, our constituents, about our processes, standards, and due process activities.

We believe that such two-way communication is essential. First and foremost, it enables us to better understand the needs and issues most important to you, and then work to address them. Just as important, it better enables you to stay informed about GASB processes, activities, and standards and understand the rationale behind them.

To determine if we are successful, our strategic plan sets goals, objectives, desired outcomes, and performance measurements that foster enhanced accountability on our part. This effort involves reaching out to our constituents to gain first-hand their perspective about our ability to carry out our mission and responsibilities appropriately and effectively.

We recently received the results of an independent survey of more than 1,200 GASB stakeholders (that is, financial statement preparers, auditors, and users). The survey was conducted by an independent contractor, National Research Center, Inc. The survey was designed specifically to address and obtain feedback from constituents like you regarding various aspects of the desired outcomes and performance measures set forth in the GASB strategic plan. We will use the results of this survey as a benchmark for the factors measured and will repeat it in coming years to monitor changes in perceptions and movement toward the GASB's strategic goals.

These results also will assist us in prioritizing our ongoing initiatives and activities to achieve strategic objectives on your behalf.

I am pleased to report that the recent study concludes that the GASB has been carrying out its standards-setting responsibilities appropriately and effectively. Constituents gave us high marks on many topics ranging from the quality and credibility of standards, to opportunities for participation in our standards-setting processes, to our ability to incorporate the many views of constituents into decisions. It was also noteworthy that, according to the study, constituents overwhelmingly believe that governmental accounting standards should be different from private sector standards because of the environmental differences and unique characteristics of government.

The study also confirmed our view that there is work that needs to continue being done to simplify, or reduce the complexity of, our standards and some of our guidance. Furthermore, it also showed us that we need to do a better job educating stakeholders about our processes and procedures for assessing whether the benefits each proposed standard brings to government financial reporting outweigh the cost of implementation. We appreciate this feedback and will continue to work hard to address these and other areas for continuous improvement opportunities.

I want to thank you, our constituents, for providing us with this invaluable information. You can rest assured that we will put it to good use. A copy of the complete report of survey results is available for review by interested constituents through the following link: Final Report.

We remain dedicated to fulfilling our mission and helping to ensure that the financial information that plays such a critical role in our society is of the highest quality, fosters government accountability, and enhances the public trust.

Sincerely,

Robert Attmore
Chairman,
Governmental Accounting Standards Board