The Governmental Accounting Standards Board has released an “omnibus” statement providing guidance on a wide range of accounting and financial reporting issues that have been uncovered during the implementation and application of some of GASB’s earlier pronouncements for state and local governments.

GASB Statement No. 85, Omnibus 2017, covers different areas, such as:

• Blending a component unit in occurences in which the main government is a business type of activity reporting in a single column for financial statement presentation;

• Classifying real estate held by insurance entities;

• Measuring some money market investments and participating interest-earning investment contracts at amortized cost;

• Reporting amounts that used to be reported as goodwill and “negative” goodwill;

GASB logo at headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut
GASB logo at headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut Courtesy of GASB

• Timing the measurement of pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) liabilities and the related expenditures recognized in financial statements that were prepared using the current financial resources measurement focus;

• Recognizing on-behalf payments for pensions or OPEB in employer financial statements; and

• Simplifying certain aspects of the alternative measurement method for OPEB.

Statement 85 also covers issues similar to those found in Statements No. 78, Pensions Provided through Certain Multiple-Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans, and No. 82, Pension Issues, including:

• Presenting payroll-related measures in required supplementary information by OPEB plans and employers that provide OPEB;

• Classifying employer-paid member contributions for OPEB; and

• Accounting and financial reporting for OPEB provided through certain multiple-employer defined benefit OPEB plans.

The provisions take effect for periods beginning after June 15, 2017, though GASB is encouraging earlier application of them.

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.