Governmental accounting

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  • When I first began discussing the concept of a book on governmental accounting for nonaccountants, the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., asked a good question: “Who would be interested in a book on governmental accounting who is not an accountant?” The quick answers were obvious—bond underwriters and investors, lawyers, elected officials, financial and other managers working in government, labor unions, and so forth.

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  • It is in compliance with the earnest requests of colleagues and friends that I have embarked on the task of editing a handbook of governmental accounting. Practitioners in the private sector, public administrators, and students in colleges and universities will find this handbook a useful reference. We hope our readers from a diverse range of fields will use it to gain understanding and familiarity with government accounting concepts.

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  • An understanding of the principles of bookkeeping and accounting is essential for anyone who is interested in a successful career in business. The purpose of bookkeeping and accounting is to provide information concerning the financial affairs of a business. This information is needed by owners, managers, creditors, and governmental agencies. An individual who earns a living by recording the financial activities of a business is known as a bookkeeper, while the process of classifying and summarizing business transactions and interpreting their effects is accomplished by the accountant.

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  • In contemporary debates about democratic governance, the concept of accountability is hard to avoid. At least from a European perspective, recent innovations in political and administrative decision-making have multiplied opportunities for citizens to hold to account those who exercise governmental authority. Or so we are told. Whether busy modernizing constitutional structures or realigning public services along market-led lines, our political representatives have proclaimed a new era of open and responsive government.

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  • THE USE OF INTENAL AUDIT FINDINGS IN GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION : AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY In modeling the effects of parental preferences on equilibrium outcomes under Tiebout choice, it is important to account for two key issues that do not arise under choice programs like vouchers. The first is that residential choice rations access to highlydemanded schools by willingness-to-pay for local housing.4 As a result, both schools and districts in high-choice markets (those with many competing school districts) are more stratified than in low-choice markets....

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  • Independent, private-sector organization whose trustees appoint the members, provide funds, and exercise general oversight of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), and their respective advisory councils. Official promulgations by the Financial Accounting Standards Board and, if not superseded, part of generally accepted accounting principles.

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  • Document issued by the AICPA, Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB), or other authority to invite public comment before a final accounting, auditing, or administrative standard, policy or procedure pronouncement is issued. Formerly code named XFRML, XBRL is a freely available electronic language for financial reporting.

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  • Independent, non-partisan agency which assists Congress in investigating and reporting on government’s effectiveness in using public funds. Uniform minimum standards of and guidelines to financial accounting and reporting. Currently, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) and the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory are authorized to establish these principles. Standards governing the conduct of external audits by CPAs, as determined by the Auditing Standards Board (ASB) of the AICPA.

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  • Commonly referred to as the “Yellow Book,” it contains standards for audits of government organizations, programs, activities, and functions, and of governmental funds received by contractors, nonprofit organizations, and other non-government organizations. Revisions are issued as required by the Comptroller General of the U.S. Private, nonprofit organization which has actively supported the advancement of governmental accounting, auditing, and financial reporting since 1906.

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  • Chapter 13C - Income taxes in capital budgeting decisions. We ignored income taxes in this chapter for two reasons. First, many organizations do not pay income taxes. Not-for-profit organizations, such as hospitals and charitable foundations, and governmental agencies are exempt from income taxes. Second, capital budgeting is complex and is best absorbed in small doses. Now that we have a solid foundation in the concepts of present value and discounting, we can explore the effects of income taxes on capital budgeting decisions.

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  • Chapter 1 - Introduction to accounting and financial reporting for governmental and not-for-profit entities. After studying Chapter 1, you should be able to: Identify and explain the characteristics that distinguish governmental and not-for-profit entities from for-profit entities; identify the authoritative bodies responsible for setting GAAP and financial reporting standards for all governmental and not-for-profit organizations;...

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  • Chapter 2 - Principles of accounting and financial reporting for state and local governments. After studying Chapter 2, you should be able to: Explain the nature of the three major activity categories of a state or local government: governmental activities, business-type activities, and fiduciary activities; explain the components of GASB’s integrated accounting and financial reporting model;...

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  • Chapter 3 - Governmental operating statement accounts; budgetary accounting. After studying Chapter 3, you should be able to: Explain how operating expenses and revenues related to governmental activities are classified and reported in the government-wide financial statements; distinguish, in governmental funds, between revenues and other financing sources and between expenditures and other financing uses; explain how revenues and expenditures are classified in the General Fund;...

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  • Chapter 4 - Accounting for governmental operating activities - Illustrative transactions and financial statements. After studying Chapter 4, you should be able to: Analyze typical operating transactions for governmental activities and prepare appropriate journal entries at both the government-wide and fund levels, prepare adjusting entries at year-end and a pre-closing trial balance, prepare closing journal entries and year-end General Fund financial statements,...

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  • Chapter 5 - Accounting for general capital assets and capital projects. After studying Chapter 5, you should be able to: Describe the nature and characteristics of general capital assets; account for general capital assets, including: acquisition, maintenance, depreciation, impairment, and disposition; explain the purpose, characteristics, and typical financing sources of a capital projects fund;…

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  • Chapter 6 - Accounting for general long-term liabilities and debt service. After studying Chapter 6, you should be able to: Explain what types of liabilities are classified as general long-term liabilities, make journal entries in the governmental activities general journal to record the issuance and repayment of general long-term debt, prepare note disclosures for general long-term debt,…

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  • Chapter 7 - Accounting for the business-type activities of state and local governments. After studying Chapter 7, you should be able to: Describe the characteristics of proprietary funds, including those unique to internal service and enterprise funds, distinguish between the purposes of internal service funds and enterprise funds, explain the financial reporting requirements, including the differences between the reporting of internal service and enterprise funds in the government-wide and fund financial statements.

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  • Chapter 8 - Accounting for fiduciary activities - Agency and trust funds. After studying Chapter 8, you should be able to: Explain how trust and agency funds are used to report on the fiduciary activities of a government, distinguish among agency funds and trust funds (private-purpose, investment, and pension), describe the uses for and characteristics of agency funds,...

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  • Chapter 9 - Financial reporting of state and local governments. After studying Chapter 9, you should be able to: Describe the concepts related to the financial reporting requirements of the GASB reporting model; explain the key concepts and terms used in describing the governmental reporting entity; apply the GASB criteria used to determine whether a potential component unit should be included in the reporting entity and, when included, manner of reporting component units;…

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  • Chapter 10 - Analysis of governmental financial performance. After studying Chapter 10, you should be able to: Explain the importance of evaluating governmental financial performance, distinguish among and describe key financial performance concepts, identify and describe the contents of a comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR),...

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