GASB Addresses Practice Issues Arising from the Pandemic

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) continues to share concerns about the stakeholder impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The GASB is actively addressing and responding to the evolving situation and remains committed to supporting and assisting stakeholders during this uncertain period.

The GASB is working on several fronts to provide relief to governments and other stakeholders and to assist them in identifying accounting and financial reporting guidance that is particularly relevant at this time.

Postponement of Effective Dates

The GASB is reviewing a proposed Statement that would postpone the effective dates of provisions in certain pronouncements and will consider releasing it for public comment during their teleconference meeting scheduled for April 14, 2020.

The proposal tentatively has identified provisions that became effective or will become effective for reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2018. These include, among others:

  • Statement No. 92, Omnibus 2020;  
  • Implementation Guide No. 2019-3, Leases;
  • Statement No. 84, Fiduciary Activities; and
  • Statement No. 87, Leases.

The draft would postpone the effective dates of provisions in eight Statements and five Implementation Guides. The Exposure Draft continues the encouragement of early implementation, which is important to governments that already have implemented some of those provisions or intend to proceed with implementation under the original effective dates.

In its active standards-setting activities, the GASB also has considered or is considering lengthening effective dates. During its March 2020 meeting, the GASB approved Statement No. 94, Public-Private and Public-Public Partnerships and Availability Payment Arrangements, which includes an extended effective date of reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2022, one year later than had been originally proposed. The GASB will consider similar changes as it reviews upcoming drafts of final Statements (such as for subscription-based information technology arrangements) and due process documents (most notably, an Exposure Draft from the Financial Reporting Model Reexamination project).

Impact on Other Standards-Setting Activities

The GASB has decided to extend to June 30, 2020, the comment deadline for the Exposure Draft of a Proposed Concepts Statement, Communication Methods in General Purpose External Financial Reports That Contain Basic Financial Statements: Notes to Financial Statements. The GASB also will postpone the public hearing on the document. The hearing has been tentatively rescheduled to July 28, 2020.

The GASB also has instituted a hiatus for planned stakeholder research activities, such as interviews and surveys, until at least June 1 (for pre-agenda research) and at least July 1 (for Post-Implementation Review).

“Toolbox” Coming Soon

The GASB also will be posting a “toolbox” on its website to assist governments and other stakeholders to identify the guidance that they can draw on to address the issues they are facing during this difficult period.

In the meantime, the GASB encourages stakeholders to connect by using its web resources, including the GASB’s technical inquiry service, through which stakeholders can submit questions directly to the GASB staff regarding standards implementation or other issues.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources for Tax & Accounting Professionals

Wolters Kluwer is right by your side to help you stay up to date with tax and compliance changes and support your ability to work remotely. Please visit our visit our webpage for more resources.

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