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The road to accrual accounting by US governmental units

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03 Apr 2006

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has released an information paper on the experiences of governmental units in the United States in their transition to accrual accounting.

The paper, entitled The Road to Accrual Accounting in the United States of America, outlines the development of administrative arrangements for formal standards setting over 70 years at the local, state, and federal Government levels in the US and highlights key factors shaping the standards setting structure. It also provides a detailed overview of the conversion to accrual accounting by state and local governments (there are nearly 88,000 governmental units in the US), examines the standards issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) to lead and support that conversion, and identifies key milestones in the conversion process. Chapters address:
  • The Environment (includes a history of governmental accounting standards in the United States)
  • The Road to Accrual-Basis Standards for State and Local Government
  • Implementation Issues Associated with the Adoption of Accrual Accounting in State and Local Government
  • US Accrual Standards in an International Context
  • The Aftermath of the New Reporting Model
The paper was prepared by David Bean, Director of Research and Technical Activities at the GASB and staff at the GASB. It can be downloaded without charge from the IFAC Website. Click for Press Release (PDF 57k).

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