Having gotten down to the building blocks of the federal books, the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board has issued a concepts statement exposure draft on the definitions and recognition of the elements of accrual-basis financial statements.The 16-year-old developer of federal accounting standards abides by the four fundamental concepts that are covered in the proposed statement: asset, liability, net position and revenue/expense.

FASAB chairman David Mosso said that most of these elements have never been defined by the board. "We've looked at all the definitions of standard-setters around the world, and have come up with one that we think fits the federal environment very well," he said. "We think it eliminates some problems that the other standard-setters have had with their concepts statements. It's about as sharp as you can get a broad concept."

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