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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

GASB Seeks Input on Effectiveness of Statement 34

May 15, 2014

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has designed a survey for preparers as part of its pre-agenda research designed to study the effectiveness of Statement No. 34, “Basic Financial Statements—and Management’s Discussion and Analysis—for State and Local Governments,” and related standards. The objective of the pre-agenda research is to gather feedback on these broad questions:

  1. What concerns exist regarding the application of the standards?
  2. How do the costs of applying the standards compare with the perceptions of the benefits of the resulting information?
  3. What financial reporting model requirements are effective or ineffective in providing information that is essential for decision making and that enhances the ability to assess a government’s accountability?

Statement 34 was the culmination of 15 years of research, deliberation, and due process. In Statement 34, GASB established the present blueprint for state and local government financial reporting. It requires public institutions—the vast majority are considered special-purpose governments engaged only in business-type activities (BTA)—to present the financial statements required for enterprise funds using the economic resources measurement focus and accrual basis of accounting. Statement 34 was the foundation for the current format of the statements of net position, revenue, expenses, and changes in net position, and cash flows. The statement also requires certain related notes to the financial statements and required supplementary information including management’s discussion and analysis.

The online survey allows BTAs to bypass questions designed for general purpose governments and focus on issues relevant to BTAs. Public institutions can access the preparer survey from GASB’s Web site and preview a copy of the survey by clicking on the BTA version. Preparer feedback is a very important part of GASB’s evaluation, so it is important that GASB hear from public institutions.


Sue Menditto
Director, Accounting Policy