GASB seeks comments on new proposals to transfer AICPA guidance

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is seeking comments on two new Exposure Drafts that set forth proposals to transfer accounting and financial reporting guidance currently contained in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) auditing literature into the GASB's accounting and financial reporting literature for state and local governments. The proposals are intended to make it easier for preparers of state and local government financial statements to identify and apply guidance on related party transactions, going concern considerations, subsequent events, and the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) hierarchy for state and local governments.

As proposed in the Exposure Drafts—Codification of Accounting and Financial Reporting Guidance Contained in the AICPA Statements on Auditing Standards and The Hierarchy of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for State and Local Governments—the relevant parts of the AICPA's Statements on Auditing Standards (SASs) would be moved to the GASB literature without substantive changes, although some editing has been proposed to make the guidance specific to state and local governments. Because the GASB chose not to reconsider the guidance provided in the SASs, the accounting and financial reporting guidance would remain unchanged in practice.

"Until now, preparers of state and local government financial statements have had to look to the auditing literature to find accounting and financial reporting guidance on these issues" said Robert H. Attmore, GASB chairman. "Our proposals would make it easier for preparers of financial statements to locate and apply this important guidance."

The Exposure Drafts can be downloaded free from the GASB Web site. Any individual or organization may obtain one printed copy of each of the Exposure Drafts without charge until October 30, 2008, by writing or phoning the GASB.

Written comments should be provided no later than October 30, 2008; addressed to the Director of Research and Technical Activities, Project No. 33 (Codification) and Project No. 33-1 (Hierarchy); and e-mailed to director@gasb.org or mailed to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, 401 Merritt 7, PO Box 5116, Norwalk, CT 06856-5116.