STATEMENT NO. 101
The objective of this Statement is to better meet the information needs of financial statement users by updating the recognition and measurement guidance for compensated absences. That objective is achieved by aligning the recognition and measurement guidance under a unified model and by amending certain previously required disclosures.
Recognition And Measurement
This Statement requires that liabilities for compensated absences be recognized for (1) leave that has not been used and (2) leave that has been used but not yet paid in cash or settled through noncash means. A liability should be recognized for leave that has not been used if (a) the leave is attributable to services already rendered, (b) the leave accumulates, and (c) the leave is more likely than not to be used for time off or otherwise paid in cash or settled through noncash means. Leave is attributable to services already rendered when an employee has performed the services required to earn the leave. Leave that accumulates is carried forward from the reporting period in which it is earned to a future reporting period during which it may be used for time off or otherwise paid or settled. In estimating the leave that is more likely than not to be used or otherwise paid or settled, a government should consider relevant factors such as employment policies related to compensated absences and historical information about the use or payment of compensated absences. However, leave that is more likely than not to be settled through conversion to defined benefit postemployment benefits should not be included in a liability for compensated absences.
This Statement requires that a liability for certain types of compensated absences—including parental leave, military leave, and jury duty leave—not be recognized until the leave commences. This Statement also requires that a liability for specific types of compensated absences not be recognized until the leave is used.
This Statement also establishes guidance for measuring a liability for leave that has not been used, generally using an employee’s pay rate as of the date of the financial statements. A liability for leave that has been used but not yet paid or settled should be measured at the amount of the cash payment or noncash settlement to be made. Certain salary-related payments that are directly and incrementally associated with payments for leave also should be included in the measurement of the liabilities.
With respect to financial statements prepared using the current financial resources measurement focus, this Statement requires that expenditures be recognized for the amount that normally would be liquidated with expendable available financial resources.
Notes To Financial Statements
This Statement amends the existing requirement to disclose the gross increases and decreases in a liability for compensated absences to allow governments to disclose only the net change in the liability (as long as they identify it as a net change). In addition, governments are no longer required to disclose which governmental funds typically have been used to liquidate the liability for compensated absences.
The requirements of this Statement are effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2023, and all reporting periods thereafter. Earlier application is encouraged.
How This Statement Will Improve Financial Reporting
The unified recognition and measurement model in this Statement will result in a liability for compensated absences that more appropriately reflects when a government incurs an obligation. In addition, the model can be applied consistently to any type of compensated absence and will eliminate potential comparability issues between governments that offer different types of leave.
The model also will result in a more robust estimate of the amount of compensated absences that a government will pay or settle, which will enhance the relevance and reliability of information about the liability for compensated absences.
How The Board Considered Costs And Benefits In The Development Of This Statement
One of the principles guiding the Board’s setting of standards for accounting and financial reporting is the assessment of expected benefits and perceived costs. The Board strives to determine that its standards address significant user needs and that the costs incurred through the application of its standards, compared with possible alternatives, are justified when compared to the expected overall public benefit.
Certain decisions made by the Board were intended to mitigate the costs associated with this Statement, such as (1) providing exceptions for certain types of compensated absences to the general recognition approach, (2) using a current value measurement rather than requiring complex calculations that may necessitate the use of an actuary, and (3) not requiring the disclosure of specific information for which the expected benefits do not justify the perceived costs.
The Board believes that the expected benefits that will result from the implementation of this Statement—more relevant, reliable, consistent, and comparable information about compensated absences—are significant and justify the perceived costs of implementation and ongoing compliance.
Unless otherwise specified, pronouncements of the GASB apply to financial reports of all state and and local governmental entities, including general purpose governments; public benefit corporations and authorities; public employee retirement systems; and public utilities, hospitals and other healthcare providers, and colleges and universities. Paragraph 2 discusses the applicability of this Statement.