Does it seem like there’s always some new accounting standard that needs to be implemented? That’s because there is! The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issues an average of three new accounting standards a year.
Change can be challenging, so it’s not surprising that many of the issues we find in our financial statement audits involve implementation of new accounting standards. In nearly all cases in which implementation was a problem, one root cause was lack of an effective process to provide the foundational planning necessary to successfully implement new standards.
To help local governments with these challenges, the State Auditor’s Office recently created a new free resource on best practices for implementing new GASB standards.
The resource describes the best practices that can make standards implementation a regular, manageable part of financial statement preparation – from identifying new Best Practices for New GASB Standards, to analyzing, planning, implementing, monitoring and making adjustments. The new Best Practices for New GASB Standards document can be found online at our Resource Database for local governments. This new document is a companion to the Example checklist for accounting standards changes tool, which our Office published last year to help governments document their analysis, plans and implementation.
This new resource was developed by Scott DeViney, CPA, who leads our Office’s audit support team, based on an article he published in the Summer 2017 issue of the Journal of Government Financial Management, an Association of Government Accountants (AGA) publication (A membership is needed to access the article on the AGA website.).
Scott will be presenting an informative session about this topic at the Washington Finance Officers Association, in Kennewick, Washington. His Best Practices for New GASB Standards presentation will occur in an afternoon session on September 14. We hope to see you there!