Published: May 11, 2020

I want to share an important update with you. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) voted Thursday, May 7 to delay implementation of several new accounting standards. The decision by GASB takes effect immediately, and comes in response to requests by governments across the country as they grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

At the Office of the Washington State Auditor, we were pleased to support the proposal circulated by GASB in an exposure draft. The decision postpones for 18 months the lease statement and implementation guide. It also postpones for one year the effective dates of all other statements and implementation guides that were due to be implemented by state and local governments for fiscal years 2019 and later.

We know that governments of all sizes and types face unique challenges at this time, and we are committed to being responsive to this situation. For more information on how the GASB decision affects BARS Manuals (both GAAP and Cash) and your fiscal report for 2019, visit the Accounting Delays page on our website.

And because we know that you are receiving a lot of information regarding the pandemic, we also have created a COVID-19 Accounting and Reporting page on our website to centralize all of our BARS-related communications.

As you know, for the past several weeks we have sought an extension of at least one month to Washington’s annual financial report filing deadline. In the event a legislative extension is not achieved and your government cannot meet the statutorily set deadline, we recommend that you document the challenges you faced and the reasons for the delay in filing your financial report. This documentation will be invaluable to our auditors in the future.

In the meantime, I encourage all local governments to start the process of filing their annual reports. SAO staff are prepared to help you with any filing questions. Our website’s About Filing Online page has many helpful filing resources, including the library of online filing videos.

It’s a testament to the culture of accountability in Washington that half of all local governments in the state have already filed with us, or have begun the process. Thank you all for your efforts on the public’s behalf, and for your continuing commitment to government transparency.



April 15: Guidance and updates from the State Auditor’s Office

March 26: An update on audit-related deadlines

March 24: How ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ affects SAO

March 17: A message regarding COVID-19

For the latest COVID-19 health guidance, statistics and resources, visit:

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