News Release 01-30-01


GASB Publishes Guide for Financial Statement Analysts

Norwalk, CT, January 30, 2001—The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has published a guide intended to assist analysts as they incorporate the new state and local government financial statements into their work. The new publication, An Analyst’s Guide to Government Financial Statements, introduces the financial statements that governments are beginning to prepare under GASB Statement 34.  

The analyst guide was developed specifically for regular and intensive users of public sector financial statements, including mutual fund analysts, rating agencies, institutional investors, bond insurers, research organizations, and taxpayer groups. The guide’s goal is to help analysts more effectively assimilate the information from the new governmental financial statements into their analytical and decision-making processes.

"Statement 34 was developed to provide analysts and other financial statement users with the more comprehensive and comprehensible data they require to assess government finances. Our new guide will bring users up-to-speed and help them get the most out of the new financial statements," said Dean Michael Mead, GASB Project Manager and author of the guide."

GASB Statement No. 34, Basic Financial Statements—and Management’s Discussion and Analysis—for State and Local Governments, established new requirements for U.S. state and local governments that prepare their financial reports according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The new rules substantially changed the appearance and content of government financial statements.

The guide is written in an easy-to-understand style and is supported by nearly eighty illustrative financial statements, including examples for local governments, school districts, states, colleges and universities, and other special-purpose governments.

An Analyst’s Guide to Government Financial Statements (order code GUG03) may be obtained from the GASB Order Department at 800-748-0659 for $19.95 each.

About the GASB User Guide Series

The analyst guide is the third in a series of six user guides that the GASB has developed for those who work with government financial statements. The first two installments in the series—What You Should Know about Your Local Government’s Finances: A Guide to Financial Statements (order code GUG01) and What You Should Know about Your School District’s Finances: A Guide to Financial Statements (order code GUG02)—were written to be broadly accessible to readers, including those without prior knowledge of accounting or government financial statements.

The user guide series will be completed in February with three "quick guides," abbreviated versions of the more in-depth publications. Those guides are prepared for legislators, board members and others seeking a concise, easy-to-read overview of the new governmental financial statements.

About the Governmental Accounting Standards Board

The GASB is the independent, not-for-profit organization, formed in 1984, that establishes and improves financial accounting and reporting standards for state and local governments. Its seven members are drawn from the Board's diverse constituency, including preparers and auditors of government financial statements, users of those statements, and members of the academic community. More information about the GASB can be found at its Web site