Statement on Massachusetts Municipalities
Governmental Accounting Standards Board issued Statement No. 34, Basic
Financial Statements - and Management's Discussion and Analysis -
for State and Local Governments, in June 1999 to be implemented in
stages through FY 2004 with infrastructure to be reported by FY 2008.
Statement No. 34 is the most sweeping change in governmental financial
reporting. The following 22 communities MUST implement this GASB 34
for financial statements ending June 30, 2002: Boston, Quincy, Cambridge,
Worcester, Newton, Springfield, Brookline, New Bedford, Lowell, Peabody,
Framingham, Brockton, Taunton, Waltham, Fall River, Holyoke, Haverhill,
Somerville, Braintree, Chicopee, Reading and Lynn. These are municipalities
with greater than $100 million in revenues as of June 30, 1999. Other
communities and school districts must implement this statement for
FY 2003 (revenues between $10 and $99 million) or FY 2004 (revenues
less than $10 million). Substantially all regional school districts
fall into the second tier, to be implemented for FY 2003 financial
are some very important Massachusetts considerations. First general
fixed assets must be included on the statement of net assets and depreciation
must be recorded on the statement of activities. This means that substantially
all municipalities and school districts must address fixed assets
NOW in order to have this information available on a timely basis.
Second, legislation has been filed to require water, sewer and other
activities defined in MGL Chapter 44, Section 53F½ (Enterprise Fund
Statute) to be reported as enterprise fund business type activities
under Statement No. 34. Thus, if this legislation passes, infrastructure
assets would need to be recorded as of the basic statement implementation
date, not deferred until infrastructure assets are to be reported.
Accordingly, this course will devote a substantial section to Massachusetts
fixed assets accounting including how to maintain daily budgetary
control while meeting Statement No. 34 reporting requirements.
has been a leader in the implementation of GASB Statement No. 34.
The South Shore Tri Town Development Corporation in Weymouth has been
recognized by the GASB as the first Statement No. 34 implementation
in the country. In addition, through the foresight of the Bureau of
Accounts and the Massachusetts Municipal Auditors and Accountants
Association, a Massachusetts Statement No. 34 model has been developed
and tested with several municipalities, including the Town of Bellingham.
two day GASB 34 training program was conducted to Massachusetts municipal
and school district personnel on January 22 and 23, 2001 to discuss
concepts and practical implementation guidance. 73 municipal and school
officials attended. Refer to the syllabus
for the course content. If you would like additional GASB 34 implementation
training, please contact Mark D. Abrahams at BETTERGOV@aol.com.