GASB Task Forces and Consultative Groups

A key method the GASB uses to obtain stakeholder input when developing high-quality standards is the appointment of task forces and consultative groups.

What do task forces and consultative groups do?

The GASB assembles task forces for all conceptual framework and comprehensive standards-setting projects and most major projects. Task forces serve as a sounding board, providing guidance and feedback to the GASB as a project progresses. Task force members typically have a particular knowledge of, or experience with, the issue being addressed in the project, and also are capable of articulating the views of other, similar constituents. They can identify possible implementation difficulties, assess the potential cost of proposed standards, or opine on the usefulness of the information that will result from those standards.

Task force members review the papers the GASB staff prepares for Board meetings and monitor the Board’s deliberations, commenting as appropriate. Task force members generally communicate with the GASB staff through e-mail and virtual meetings, but for comprehensive projects, generally one or more public meetings of the Board with the task force are held.

Consultative groups are established to assist the GASB with the development of Implementation Guides for individual Statements and with conducting pre-agenda research. Consultative groups help identify issues to address and review drafts of the Guides prior to discussion by the Board or provide input on research plans and instruments. Like task force members, the members of a consultative group bring a particular expertise to the table that is relevant to the subject matter.

How are participants selected?

Task forces and consultative groups are officially appointed by the GASB chair, based on recommendations from the director of research and technical activities and GASB staff. The chairman also consults with the other GASB members and the GASAC chair.

Potential participants primarily are identified from the GASB’s database of stakeholders who have previously submitted a comment letter or otherwise participated in standards-setting or research activities. The GASB attempts to maintain an appropriate balance of financial statement preparers, auditors, and users on each task force and group. In addition to identifying persons that possess relevant knowledge and experience and that are representative of various types of stakeholders, the GASB tries to select persons it believes will actively participate by reviewing materials prepared for the Board or for research purposes and by providing regular feedback to the GASB staff.