GASB issues implementation guidance on pronouncements

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The Governmental Accounting Standards Board posted a set of questions and answers Thursday with the goal of clarifying, explaining and elaborating on how to implement and apply some of its recent pronouncements for state and local government accounting.

Implementation Guide 2020-1, Implementation Guidance Update—2020, answers questions about the application of GASB standards on various topics, including the financial reporting entity, fiduciary activities, leases, conduit debt obligations, asset retirement obligations and external investment pools.

The guide comes with amendments to previously issued implementation guidance. It also postpones the effective date of some questions and answers that were originally published in Implementation Guide No. 2019-2, Fiduciary Activities, pending the completion of GASB’s project on Certain Component Unit Criteria and Accounting and Financial Reporting for Section 457 Plans.

The requirements of the new implementation guide mostly take effect for reporting periods beginning after either June 15, 2021, or Dec. 15, 2021. Those effective dates are one year later than typical for an Implementation Guidance Update, consistent with GASB’s proposed statement, Postponement of the Effective Dates of Certain Authoritative Guidance, in which the board postponed the deadlines for some of its standards due to the coronavirus pandemic (see our story). However, GASB is encouraging early application for guidance related to standards that already have been implemented. See the guide’s Effective Date and Transition section for more details.

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