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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas
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GASB Considers Termination Benefits Exchange Transactions

September 21, 2005

Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 47, Accounting for Termination Benefits, addresses accounting and reporting guidance for both voluntary and involuntary termination benefits. In the July issue of Business Officer, NACUBO incorrectly informed members that such termination benefits are considered nonexchange transactions. Rather, both voluntary and involuntary terminations are considered exchange transactions. In a nonexchange transaction, a government gives (or receives) value without directly receiving (or giving) equal value in return. In an exchange transaction, each party directly receives and gives up essentially equal values. With termination benefits there is an exchange, directly related to the termination, between the governmental employer and the employee. 

Resources: GASB Statement 33, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Nonexchange Transactions; NACUBO’s Financial Accounting and Reporting Manual (FARM), Chapter 300; and Emerging Issues Update 02-4.

NACUBO staff resource: Sue Menditto, director, accounting policy.