In 2019, the GASB continued work on the so-called “Big 3” projects. However, at the end of the year, all the “Big 3” are slightly different than when 2019 started. The board also released three Implementation Guides: the annual Update as well as guides helping practitioners implement GASB Statement Nos. 84 Fiduciary Activities and 87, Leases, and certain elements of these guides caused some practitioners and the GASB to consider additional issues toward the end of the year. Notably, the GASB delayed the issuance of what may have been GASB Statement No. 92, Deferred Compensation Plans – Reexamination of Statement 32. GASB is currently conducting additional outreach to governments as it relates to the fiduciary reporting of Section 457 plans and other government-sponsored employee benefit plans. As soon as this outreach is completed, additional changes may occur from the GASB prior to a final standard release.
All Quiet on the New Standards Issuance Front
The GASB just issued Statement No. 91, Conduit Debt Obligations (to replace GASB Cod. Sec. C65). GASB-91 updates more than two decades of existing guidance related to conduit debt obligations (CDOs). The changes made by GASB-91 will become effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2020 (January 1, 2021, or July 1, 2021).
GASB-91 defines CDOs for financial reporting purposes as having all the following characteristics:
If any of the requirements are not met, the issuance is not a CDO. The bond issue is then an obligation of the issuer. Otherwise, the obligation is at the third-party obligor. Look for additional information on GASB-91 in an upcoming Eide Bailly webinar.
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Three Implementation Guides Issued
GASB staff was busy developing new questions and answers, especially related to Fiduciary Activities and Leases. Focus areas in the guides are dependent upon the issues at hand for a government, but pay attention to the following:
|Implementation Guide||Questions / Focus Areas|
|2019-1 – Annual Update||
|2019-2 – Fiduciary Activities||
|2019-3 – Leases||
Where are We Headed in 2020?
Assuming no change in the dates within the GASB’s Technical Plan, the “Big 3” will have significant activity in the new year. The following is the current slate of activity for the GASB over the next six months:
|Imminent||Exposure Draft – Implementation Guide Update – 2020|
|January||Final Statement – Omnibus – 20XX|
|February||Exposure Draft – Conceptual Framework – Note Disclosure|
|March||Final Statement – Public-Private and Public – Public Partnerships and Availability Payment Arrangements
Final Statement – Replacement of Interbank Offered Rates
|April||Final Statement – Subscription-Based Information Technology Arrangements|
|May||Preliminary Views – Revenue and Expense Recognition|
|June||Exposure Draft – Financial Reporting Model – Reexamination|
An unknown remains in the Deferred Compensation Plans, which hopefully will come to resolution soon.
2020 an Important Year
The GASB will likely have a busy year in 2020, one that may set the course for many years to come. Many of you know the implementation of GASB-84 currently ongoing has not been and will not be easy. As the chairman of the GASB has remarked—it is a monster. For many governments, GASB-87 may not be any easier as evidenced by the number of requests for proposals for consulting related to GASB-87 implementation that have been released recently.
Eide Bailly will be presenting webinars on each of these and other topics throughout the next six months. Please check our events page regularly for updates!
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