In light of COVID-19, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) acted swiftly to formalize its decision to extend implementation dates for major standards by releasing Statement No. 95, Postponement of the Effective Dates of Certain Authoritative Guidance.
The statement provides relief to public colleges and universities. Of particular interest is the postponement of Statement No. 84, Fiduciary Activities, and Statement No. 87, Leases, until FY21 for most public institutions.
Statement No. 95 does not extend the effective date of GASB Statement No. 94, Public-Private and Public-Public Partnerships and Availability Payment Arrangements, because GASB had already taken the coronavirus into account when deciding the timing. Public colleges and universities have until FY23 to implement Statement 94.
GASB also has released its Implementation Guidance Update – 2020, which provides interpretative assistance for its standards. The guide includes crucial amendments to previously issued questions on fiduciary activities, including NACUBO’s advocated position that defined contribution benefit plans do not necessarily warrant separate fiduciary fund reporting. The effective date of certain questions and answers are extended to align with Statement 95. Topics of interest to public institutions include:
- The financial reporting entity
- Fiduciary activities
- Conduit debt obligations
- Asset retirement obligations
- External investment pools
Finally, GASB continues to respond to coronavirus-related pressures through its related resources and toolbox. The toolbox connects users to authoritative guidance on issues that can arise as a result of governmental service interruptions, and the resources are regularly updated.