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GASB Statement No. 34

GASB Statement No. 34 Overview Article
A Comment on Massachusetts Municipalities
A Commentary on Massachusetts School Districts
GASB 34 Resume


Course Description

Syllabus

Registration Form

Directions to Class


 

A Statement on Massachusetts Municipalities

The 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 statements.

There 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 53F (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.

Massachusetts 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.

A 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.


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