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GASB 34/35

Important Information for State and Local Government Agencies

What is GASB Statement 34?

GASB stands for the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. The mission of this organization is to "establish and improve standards of state and local governmental accounting and financial reporting that will result in useful information for users of financial reports and guide and educate the public, including issuers, auditors, and users of those financial reports."

GASB 34, issued in June of 1999, represents a significant change to traditional government financial reporting standards. For the first time, accrual accounting is required for all government activities and all capital assets are generally required to be depreciated. Additional information such as the Management's Discussion and Analysis is now required.

Does GASB 34 Apply to Me?

GASB 34 Affects:
  • General purpose governments
  • State, county, and city governments
  • Public hospitals and healthcare providers
  • Public benefit corporations
  • Public retirement systems
  • Public utilities
  • Public school districts

What is GASB Statement 35?

GASB 35 Statement provisions to public colleges and universities was achieved through the issuance of Statement No. 35, Basic financial Statements - and Management's Discussion and Analysis - for Public Colleges and Universities.

What are the fixed asset requirements of GASB 34/35?

Fixed asset requirements of GASB 34/35 requires that fixed asset records must be maintained by public entities in a complete, accurate and detailed manner, and that governments report all capital assets with the consideration of depreciation, including infrastructure assets and "historical treasures."

What sort of assets am I required to report so that I am in compliance with GASB 34/35?

Governments should report all capital assets, including infrastructure assets, in the government-wide statement of net assets and generally should report depreciation expense in the statement of activities.

Capital assets are those assets that have a useful life extending beyond a single reporting period. Capital assets should be recorded at their original cost (historical cost).

Capital Assets can include:
  • Land and Easements
  • Buildings
  • Equipment, Machinery and Vehicles
  • Infrastructure (including such things as roads, lighting systems, sidewalk systems, utility systems, and others)
  • "Historical Treasures"
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