The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board FASABs Role,
The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board FASABs Role, Concepts and Standards Domenic N. Savini, MSA, CMA, CPA American University February 24, 2014 Disclaimer Views expressed are those of the speaker. Official positions of the FASAB are determined only after extensive due process and deliberations.
2 FASABs Role, Concepts and Standards The FASAB serves the public interest by improving federal financial reporting through issuing federal financial accounting standards and providing guidance after considering the needs of external and internal users of federal financial information. 3 House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbWRu_8MkbA Making Sense Of The Numbers: Improving The Federal Financial Reporting Model - House Oversight Committee, February 16, 2011 Please see this clip beginning at the 48 minute mark to first hear Mr. Cooper, followed by Mr. Connolly at about 49:30 seconds. Listen carefully at 50:45 seconds; requirement for governments to disclose unfunded liabilities. What did Mr. Connolly ask? What was Mr. Allens reply? What was
Mr. Connolly saying or implying? What is a standard-setters proper role? What is your role as an accountant or auditor? What is management responsible for? To whom are each accountable? 4 What is FASAB? One of three U.S. Accounting StandardsSetting Organizations Accounting StandardsSetting Organizations Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
5 Who is FASAB? We currently have 9 board members supported by 8 staff. Tom Allen Wendy Payne Chairman (Former GASB Chair) Executive Director Non-voting Member Mark Reger
Norman Dong Treasury OMB Sam McCall GAO Graylin Smith Harold Steinberg
Michael Granof Current as of October 2012 Robert Dacey D. Scott Showalter Bios available at www.fasab.gov 6 Federal Accounting Prior to 1990 Fragmented approach
3 Central Agencies Treasury = financial reporting Office of Management and Budget (OMB) = budgetary reporting General Accounting Office (GAO) = accounting standards, principles and auditing 7 Federal Accounting After 1990 Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 Agencies & Government produce financial statements
Agency & Government financial statements audited Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) created to set-up Standards for Accounting and Reporting 8 Federal GAAP Level A FASAB Statements and Interpretations FASAB Standards and Interpretations will be periodically incorporated in a publication by the FASAB. Level B FASAB
Technical Bulletins If specifically made applicable to federal reporting entities by the AICPA and cleared by the FASAB, AICPA Industry Audit and Accounting Guides. 9 Federal GAAP Level C Technical Releases of the Accounting and Auditing Policy Committee of the FASAB. Level D Implementation guides published by the FASAB staff,
as well as practices that are widely recognized and prevalent in the federal government. 10 FASAB Concepts Statements 11 Statements of Federal Financial Accounting Concepts (SFFACs) SFFAC 1 - Objectives SFFAC 2 - Entity & Display SFFAC 3 - Managements Discussion & Analysis
SFFAC 4 - Intended Audience and Qualitative Characteristics for the Consolidated Financial Report of the United States Government SFFAC 5 - Definitions of Elements of Accrual Basis Financial Statements SFFAC 6 - Distinguishing Basic Information, RSI, and OAI SFFAC 7 - Measurement of the Elements of Accrual-Basis Financial Statements in Periods After Initial Recording 12
SFFAC 1 Objectives of Federal Financial Reporting Uncle Sam is the BOSS!! Budgetary integrity support of budget process; linking accounting and budgeting Operating performance more meaningful data; cost/benefit and performance data Stewardship improved accountability of resources
Systems and Control cost effective systems and controls 13 FASAB Standards 14 Statements of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (SFFASs)
SFFAS 9 - Deferral of Managerial Cost SFFAS 10 - Internal Use Software 15 Statements of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (SFFASs) SFFAS 11 - Amendments to PP&E SFFAS 12 - Contingent Liabilities from Litigation SFFAS 13 - Deferral of Material Revenue - Related Transactions Disclosures (re: collection of taxes and duties) SFFAS 14 - Deferred Maintenance Reporting SFFAS 15 - Managements Discussion and Analysis SFFAS 16 Amendments to Multi-use Heritage Assets SFFAS 17 - Social Insurance
SFFAS 18 - Amendments to Direct & Guaranteed Loans 16 Statements of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (SFFASs) SFFAS 19 - Technical Amendments - Direct & Guaranteed Loans SFFAS 20 Eliminating Certain Tax Disclosures SFFAS 21 Corrections of Errors and Changes in Accounting Principles SFFAS 22 Reconciling Obligations and Net Cost SFFAS 23 Eliminating the Category National Defense PP&E SFFAS 24 Selected Standards for the Consolidated
Financial Report of the US Government (CFR) SFFAS 25 Reclassification of Stewardship Responsibilities and Eliminating the Current Services Assessment 17 Statements of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (SFFASs) SFFAS 26 Presentation of Significant Assumptions for the Statement of Social Insurance SFFAS 27 Identifying and Reporting Earmarked Funds SFFAS 28 Deferral of the Effective Date of Reclassification of the Statement of Social Insurance SFFAS 29 Heritage Assets and Stewardship Land SFFAS 30 Inter-entity Cost Implementation
SFFAS 31 Accounting for Fiduciary Activities SFFAS 32 CFR Requirements SFFAS 33 - Pensions, Other Retirement Benefits, and Other Post-employment benefits 18 Statements of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (SFFASs) SFFAS 34 - Hierarchy of GAAP SFFAS 35 - Estimating the Historical Cost of General Property, Plant, and Equipment SFFAS 36 - Comprehensive Long-Term Projections for the U.S. Government SFFAS 37 - Social Insurance: Additional Requirements for MD&A and Basic Financial Statements
SFFAS 38 - Accounting for Federal Oil and Gas Resources SFFAS 39 - Subsequent Events 19 Statements of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (SFFASs) SFFAS 40 - Definitional Changes Related to Deferred Maintenance and Repairs SFFAS 41 - Deferral of the Effective Date of SFFAS 38, Accounting for Federal Oil and Gas Resources SFFAS 42 - Deferred Maintenance and Repairs SFFAS 43 - Funds from Dedicated Collections SFFAS 44 - Accounting for Impairment of General
Property, Plant, and Equipment Remaining in Use 20 Financial Statements Traditional with some twists Statement of Net Cost Statement of Operations and Changes in Net Position Balance Sheet Budgetary Reconciliations of Net Operating Cost and Deficit Statement of Changes in Cash Balances from Deficit and Other Activities
Prospective Statement of Long-Term Fiscal Projections Statement of Social Insurance Statement of Changes in Social Insurance 21 Super-sized traditional financial reports for Accountability Budget & relationship to accrual Performance measures
Beyond accrual to forward-looking Future: Granularity of cost information Cost vs. spending 22 Discussion Decision Making Statement of net cost provides the net cost of government goods and services to be financed by taxpayers (presently and in the future) Balance sheet presents the resources the government has under its control presently and the obligations it has already incurred to deliver goods and services
What decisions can you envision making with this type of information? 23 Current Projects 24 Federal Reporting Entity FASAB established concepts in mid-90s Standards now being developed Include in General Purpose Federal Financial Reports (GPFFR) all organizations: budgeted for,
controlled with potential for risk or reward, or Owned Does not specifically address particular entities. Provides for judgment about: Inclusion Classification Disclosure 25 Federal Reporting Entity Distinguish between consolidation entities and disclosure organizations Consolidation entities are:
supported by general taxes, and on-going decision making, and are more clearly linked to elected officials. Information for consolidation entities is to be consolidated in financial statements. 26 Federal Reporting Entity Disclosure organizations are: somewhat independent from elected officials, and may be financially self-sustaining. Information regarding such organizations
is to be disclosed in notes with an emphasis on risk. 27 Reporting Model Seeking to enhance the benefits of accrual basis financial statements Input to the Board: User needs surveys, focus groups, and roundtables FASAB Task Force on Government-wide Financial Reports (Dec 2010) CFO Act 20-Year Report Input from task forces focusing on agency level reporting on cost, budget and performance Statement of spending pilots
Study of other sovereign government practices 28 Reporting Model Participants want particular or specialized information to meet their needs: Understandability of financial information Centralized source for obtaining data Move toward real-time data Address program managers needs
Integrated data Financial and non-financial performance information Program level cost information Add forward-looking information in agency reports 29 Reporting Model Improvement Needed in the Statement of Net Cost: Now - cost by strategic goal Some prefer to focus on cost by organizations, programs, or projects Matching cost and output (and eventually outcome) is not so easy!
Same terms used differently by different disciplines (cost per the budget versus cost per accrual principles versus cost per program evaluators) 30 RISK ASSUMED Current Standards are limited to insurance contracts and explicit guarantees (other than loan guarantees). When implementing policy initiatives to stabilize financial markets and the economy, the federal government explicitly assumed risks previously considered by some to have implied backing of the federal government. In order to meet the stewardship and operating performance objectives of federal financial reporting
It is important that the federal government report all significant risks assumed, not just risks related to insurance contracts and explicit guarantees. 31 Leases Are all leases financings? FASAB is partnering with GASB to develop standards for governmental organizations. Tentative decision to establish a single model (with exceptions for shortterm arrangements).
Leases create assets consisting of the right to use a resource. Leases create liabilities consisting of the obligation to pay for the resource. The focus may be on the interest cost associated with leases. 32 Public-Private Partnerships Due to budget pressures, federal agencies have increasingly turned to public-private partnerships
(e.g., PPPs, P3s) to accomplish goals Transparency of the full costs and risks of such partnerships is the overall objective Specific objectives include: Defining terms (e.g., service concession arrangements, P3s) Providing guidance for the recognition and measurement of: assets and liabilities revenues and expenses
risks Consider implications for other arrangements related to P3s (sale-leaseback or other long-term arrangements). 33 Our Nations Unsustainable Course How social insurance projections weigh on our future. Or do they? 34 2011 Financial Report of the United States Government MD&A Fiscal Sustainability
While the Governments immediate priority is to continue to foster economic recovery, there are longer term fiscal challenges that must ultimately be addressed. Persistent growth of health care costs and the aging of the population due to the retirement of the baby boom generation and increasing longevity will make it increasingly difficult to fund critical social programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Reducing deficits too abruptly would be counterproductive if it slows the economys recovery. In the near term, it is crucial to strike the proper balance between deficit reduction and economic growth. FY2011 Financial Report of the US Government, page 18. 35 SOURCE: 2010 CFR - The 2010 projection is lower primarily due to the projected savings from the
Affordable Care Act; lowers Medicare spending and raises receipts. there is uncertainty about whether the projected cost reductions in health care will be fully achieved. Source 2011 CFR: Page 153. 3 Source 2011 CFR: Page 156. Is our Nation really on an unsustainable course?
Todays Doom-n-Gloom witnesses: David Walker, Former GAO Comptroller General http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6Q14HOBThM Rick Santelli, CNBC Analyst http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEZB4taSEoA Peter Orszag, Former OMB Director http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-1-2009/peter-orszag-pt--1 39 40 41
Is our Nation really on an unsustainable course? Todays Pie-in-the-Sky witnesses: Mike Norman, John Thomas Financial Chief Economist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HJ54RRB7OU Warren Mosler, University of Cambridge, Senior Associate Fellow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb8Qv81dGSQ&feature=relmfu James Galbraith, University of Texas at Austin, Professor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnKsgelpuHU 42
FASAB Public Hearing February 25, 2009 Topics: Reporting Comprehensive Long-Term Fiscal Projections for the U. S. Government Accounting for Social Insurance, Revised Excerpted views of Mr. James K. Galbraith, University of Texas and Mr. Warren Mosler, University of Cambridge The proposed federal financial reporting contains no mention of the assets that correspond to the liabilities. For example, it would treat the obligations of the Social Security system as a liability. But the same liability is, of course, an asset to the public.
Nowhere is this Social Security wealth reported or even remarked on. The nations financial condition is a combination of the financial condition of the government and that of its citizens. Hence the Social Security wealth of the current population is just as real as the liabilities that support it. Put another way, a transfer program, from one group of citizens to another, merely transfers resources. It does not increase or diminish them. 43 FASAB Public Hearing February 25, 2009 The inference will therefore be drawn that the program necessarily involves costs associated with the debt --without benefits, associated with higher growth or lower unemployment. This procedure is prima facie absurd.
The government does not need tax revenue sufficient to match spending in order to sustain public services and meet obligations as they come due. This is obvious: the government almost never has sufficient tax revenue for that purpose. This is why we have a national debt to begin with. Yet the US federal government has never, in 230 years of operation, lacked for budgetary resources sufficient to sustain public services and meet obligations as they come due. This is also obvious, insofar as the government has never defaulted on its obligations. The proposed procedure betrays a false supposition that there is some finite limit to the nominal value of the bonds that can be issued by the U.S. Treasury. No such limit
exists. Nor does the government have to issue securities in order to spend. As an operating matter, it spends first and issues securities later, transferring funds from interest-bearing reserve accounts at the Federal Reserve to interest-bearing Treasury securities. 44 FASAB Public Hearing February 25, 2009 So far as transfer programs are concerned, given that both assets and liabilities should be reported, a few exercises will demonstrate that the two necessarily balance. (The governments deficit is the private sectors surplus.)
The board has not established its competence in a basic matter of accounting. It should certainly not embarrass itself by attempting to prescribe policy. Inter-generational accounting is an experimental and unsound concept. It should not be included in any government document. 45 FASAB Public Hearing February 25, 2009 Excerpted views of Jim Cooper, Blue Dog Democrat Congressman for Tennessee's 5th District
Yes. Again, I prefer a shift from due and payable to fully insured criteria for determining an expense and liability for social insurance. But, as FASAB has chosen to focus on net present value of future expenditures in excess of future revenue, I believe the closed group measure more accurately displays the current state of these programs for the purposes of financial reporting. The closed group measure more accurately encapsulates the broader social commitment and sacred promise political status of these programs, despite the lack of a legally irrevocable commitment. 46 Contact and Website Information General inquiries can be directed to
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