By Frank Byrt
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has launched a new Governmental Accounting Research SystemTM (GARS) platform – GARS Online. Previously, GARS was available only on CD-ROM.
GARS Online provides access to all US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and related literature for state and local governments.
GARS Online will be available through four service plans to accommodate the varying needs of different stakeholders, GASB announced March 14.
"We are very pleased to launch GARS Online and expect that the new online platform will reduce the amount of time and effort needed for users to research state and local governmental accounting and financial reporting standards", said GASB Chairman Robert H. Attmore, in the press release.
GARS Online offers new advanced navigation and special features, including annotations, feedback utilities, advanced search functions, and update capabilities. The online platform contains the same GASB content as the CD version, which includes:
- Original Pronouncements – Governmental Accounting and Financial Reporting Standards – including the original versions of GASB statements; concepts statements; technical bulletins; and interpretations, with National Council on Governmental Accounting pronouncements; and selected AICPA materials.
- Codification of Governmental Accounting Standards and Financial Reporting Standards – an integrated view of the current version of accounting and financial reporting standards for state and local governments, organized by general principles, financial reporting, specific balance sheet and operating statement items, and standalone reporting.
- Comprehensive Implementation Guide – a compilation of questions and answers and illustrative material developed to assist financial statement preparers and attestors in the implementation and application of selected GASB pronouncements.
- Topical Index – a cross-reference to currently effective guidance in documents included in the Original Pronouncements, sections of the Codification, and questions in the Comprehensive Implementation Guide.
Current GARS CD-ROM subscribers will be offered a special plan to change to the online version, the GASB said.
The GASB said it will continue its fee-based offerings for the GASB subscription service, annual bound editions of GASB Original Pronouncements and GASB Codification, and hard copies of individual GASB final pronouncements, which can be ordered online at the GASB store.
The GASB is the independent, not-for-profit organization that establishes and improves financial accounting and reporting standards for state and local governments. GASB is overseen by the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), which oversees the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).