GASB delays upcoming standards and guidance due to coronavirus

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The Governmental Accounting Standards Board is postponing the effective dates of many of its pronouncements and implementation guides for 12 to 18 months to provide some breathing room for accountants who work for state and local governments and have to deal with the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

GASB issued Statement No. 95, Postponement of the Effective Dates of Certain Authoritative Guidance, on Friday postponing by one year the effective dates of certain provisions in the following pronouncements:

  • Statement No. 83, Certain Asset Retirement Obligations
  • Statement No. 84, Fiduciary Activities
  • Statement No. 88, Certain Disclosures Related to Debt, including Direct Borrowings and Direct Placements
  • Statement No. 89, Accounting for Interest Cost Incurred before the End of a Construction Period
  • Statement No. 90, Majority Equity Interests
  • Statement No. 91, Conduit Debt Obligations
  • Statement No. 92, Omnibus 2020
  • Statement No. 93, Replacement of Interbank Offered Rates
  • Implementation Guide No. 2017-3, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Postemployment Benefits Other Than Pensions (and Certain Issues Related to OPEB Plan Reporting)
  • Implementation Guide No. 2018-1, Implementation Guidance Update—2018
  • Implementation Guide No. 2019-1, Implementation Guidance Update—2019
  • Implementation Guide No. 2019-2, Fiduciary Activities

The statement postpones the effective dates of the following pronouncements by 18 months:

  • Statement No. 87, Leases
  • Implementation Guide No. 2019-3, Leases

The provisions of Statement 95 take effect immediately, meaning that it delays the above standards for a year. Statement 95, however, doesn’t postpone the effective date of Statement No. 94, Public-Private and Public-Public Partnerships and Availability Payment Arrangements, because the pandemic was factored into Statement 94’s effective date.

Last month, GASB proposed to postpone the effective dates of provisions in virtually all of its statements and implementation guides that are due to be implemented by state and local governments for fiscal years 2019 and later because of the COVID-19 pandemic (see our story). GASB worked on the guidance under an expedited schedule due to the urgent nature of the pandemic. Its sister organization, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, has also been proposing to push back the effective dates of some of its standards because of the pandemic, and the American Institute of CPAs has been doing the same.

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