GASB Updates Statement No. 34, Issues Statement 41

Updating guidance put forth in its landmark Statement No. 34, Basic Financial Statements — and Management’s Discussion and Analysis — for State and Local Governments, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) recently issued Statement No. 41, Budgetary Comparison Schedule — Perspective Differences.

GASB establishes and improves financial accounting and reporting standards for state and local governments.

The new statement clarifies existing guidance on budgetary comparisons set forth in Statement No. 34. The amendment is valid for governments with budgetary structures (such as some program-based budgets), which keep them from presenting the budgetary comparison information for their general funds and major special revenue funds that is required by Statement 34.

Statement 34 was issued in June of 2000 and marked a revolutionary change in the way state and local governments prepare and issue their financial statements and reports.

Under Statement 41, affected governments "will present budgetary comparison schedules as required supplementary information based on the fund, organization or program structure that the government uses for its legally adopted budget," GASB said in a May 20 press release. "Generally, governments should present budgetary comparisons for the activities that are reported in the general fund and each major special revenue fund."

This new change will be implemented at the same time as Statement 34, which is following a staggered implementation schedule based on the size of the government entity. Governments that already have implemented Statement 34 must adhere to these new requirements for periods beginning after June 15, 2002.

The Statement may be obtained by telephoning the GASB Order Department at 800-748-0659 or online at www.gasb.org.

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