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The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) released two exposures drafts in July 2021. Communication Methods in General Purpose External Financial Reports That Contain Basic Financial Statements: Notes to Financial Statements, would amend criteria GASB uses when evaluating notes to financial statements during the standard-setting process. Omnibus 20XX seeks to clarify a wide variety of practice issues.

Notes to Financial Statements

The exposure draft is a second document GASB issued after deliberating comments to its early 2020 proposal. The revised draft stresses the concept of essentiality as the most significant element for guiding required disclosures in the notes to the financial statements. This is defined to mean that notes to the financial statements should be essential to making economic, social, or political decisions or assessing accountability.

The concepts proposed describe essential information as that which—

  • Has or would have a meaningful effect on users’ analyses for making decisions or assessing accountability
  • A breadth or depth of users would or do utilize in their analyses for making decisions or assessing accountability

Comments are due to GASB by October 15, 2021.

Omnibus Proposal

The Omnibus exposure draft resembles an implementation guide in that issues related to certain GASB standards are identified and clarified. Topics addressed include—

  • Derivative instruments
  • Leases
  • Public-private and public-public partnerships
  • Subscription-based information technology arrangements
  • Nonmonetary transaction disclosures
  • Pledges of future revenue when resources are not received by the pledging government

Comments are due to GASB by September 17, 2021. We encourage public institutions to submit comments to GASB or to provide feedback to NACUBO.


Sue Menditto

Senior Director, Accounting Policy


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