News Release 11/17/15

POST-IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW CONCLUDES GASB STANDARDS
ON NONEXCHANGE TRANSACTIONS ACHIEVE THEIR PURPOSE


Norwalk, CT—November 17, 2015—Accounting and financial reporting standards for state and local governments that address nonexchange transactions achieve their purpose, according to a report issued today by the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF). The Post-Implementation Review (PIR) Report on Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statements No. 33, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Nonexchange Transactions, and No. 36, Recipient Reporting for Certain Shared Nonexchange Revenues, addresses technical, operational, and cost-effectiveness aspects of the two Statements.

Nonexchange transactions are common governmental transactions in which there is no equal exchange of resources, for example, when a government collects annual property taxes from local residents.

GASB Statement 33 was issued in 1998 to guide the accounting for nonexchange transactions involving financial or capital resources. GASB Statement 36 was issued in 2000 to amend Statement 33 to ensure that government-shared nonexchange revenues be reported consistently with voluntary or government-mandated nonexchange transactions.

“The PIR process has provided important stakeholder feedback on the benefits and costs associated with the requirements of Statements 33 and 36 in light of actual experience in using and preparing the information,” said GASB Chair David A. Vaudt in the Board’s response to the PIR report. “On behalf of the GASB, I would like to thank the Foundation for undertaking this important process and all of the individuals and organizations who gave their time to share their insights and experiences with the PIR staff.”

The PIR team received broad-based input from GASB stakeholders including auditors, preparers, financial statement users, and academics. Based on its research, the review team concluded that:
  • Statements 33 and 36 resolved the issues underlying their stated needs. In particular, they achieved the following objectives:
    • Statement 33 provided guidance on the reporting period in which governments report the results of nonexchange transactions involving cash and other financial and capital resources, and
    • Statement 36 amended Statement 33 to ensure that provider and recipient governments symmetrically report the sharing of portions of derived tax or imposed nonexchange revenue transactions.
  • Information resulting from the application of Statements 33 and 36 provides creditors and other users of financial statements with useful information. Information about nonexchange revenues is used to:
    • Identify various nonexchange revenue sources,
    • Determine whether there have been significant fluctuations in amounts over time, and
    • Determine whether the nonexchange revenue sources are subject to restrictions or contingencies.
  • Statements 33 and 36 are generally understandable (though complex), can be applied as intended, and enable information about nonexchange transactions to be reported reliably. However, some governments have experienced a level of difficulty applying some of the provisions of the Statements.
  • The changes made to financial and operating practices as a result of Statements 33 and 36 were not significant or unexpected.
  • There were no significant unanticipated consequences as a result of the application of Statements 33 and 36.
  • Overall, implementation and ongoing application costs associated with Statements 33 and 36 were not significant and were consistent with both GASB’s and stakeholders’ expectations.
  • Statements 33 and 36 achieved their expected benefits.
The PIR team’s review did not result in any standard-setting process recommendations for the GASB.

The review of Statements 33 and 36 was undertaken by an independent team of the FAF, the parent organization of the GASB and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). The team’s formal report is available here. The GASB’s response letter to the report is available here.

With the completion of the review of GASB Statements 33 and 36, the PIR team will initiate its review of GASB Statement No. 49, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pollution Remediation Obligations.

Stakeholders who would like the opportunity to participate in upcoming PIRs should register online.

For more information on the PIR process, visit the FAF website.


About the Financial Accounting Foundation

Established in 1972, the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) is the independent, private-sector, not-for-profit organization based in Norwalk, Connecticut responsible for the oversight, administration, financing, and appointment of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). The FASB and GASB establish and improve financial accounting and reporting standards – known as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP – for public and private companies, not-for-profit organizations, and state and local governments in the United States. For more information, visit www.accountingfoundation.org.

About the Governmental Accounting Standards Board

Established in 1984, the GASB is the independent, private-sector organization based in Norwalk, Connecticut, that establishes accounting and financial reporting standards for U.S. state and local governments that follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). These standards are recognized as authoritative by state and local governments, state Boards of Accountancy, and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). The GASB develops and issues accounting standards through a transparent and inclusive process intended to promote financial reporting that provides useful information to taxpayers, public officials, investors, and others who use financial reports. The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) supports and oversees the GASB. For more information, visit www.gasb.org.