JE - User Guide Series Update Under Way - May 2011

Journal Entries

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

User Guide Series Update Under Way

The GASB’s user guide series, which introduces the financial reports of state and local governments to a broad, nonaccountant audience, is currently being revised and updated for publication. The What You Should Know guides—originally published in 2000–2001—provide a comprehensive, easy-to-read introduction to the annual financial reports of local governments, school districts, and—new for 2011—business-type activities, such as utilities, hospitals, and colleges. The titles in the revised series will be:

  • What You Should Know about Your Local Government’s Finances
  • What You Should Know about Your School District’s Finances
  • What You Should Know about Your Government’s Business-Type Activities
  • An Analyst’s Guide to Government Financial Reports. 
The 2011 editions of the first three guides will cover more note disclosures and supporting information and include the major new pronouncements issued since the publication of the original guides, including those on other postemployment benefits, derivative instruments, and fund balance.

An Analyst’s Guide, which is aimed at experienced, regular users of governmental financial statements, will update and combine the current guide with What Else You Should Know about a Government’s Finances, the GASB’s guide to notes and supporting information, to create a comprehensive updated guide to the full financial report.

The 2011 editions of the guides are scheduled for publication during the summer and fall. The new guides will be available in the store section of the GASB website,, by clicking on the User Guides item in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen.