Complying with GASB Statement No. 77: Tax Abatement Disclosures

The Government Accounting Standard Board’s Statement #77 (or “GASB 77”) requires government entities to disclose particular tax abatement agreement details that were previously unavailable. Therefore, some entities may need to update their systems to collect the necessary data. Watch as Julie Bennett discusses the information that entities must present in accordance with GASB [...]

February 22nd, 2017|GOVERNMENTS, VIDEO|

When Government Employee Uniforms Are a Tax-Free Benefit

The caped crusader is lucky. Under today’s fringe benefit standards, Batman’s uniform would be considered a tax-free benefit.  Unfortunately, local police and fire departments may not be so lucky. So when are government employee uniforms a tax-free benefit? Well, many police and fire departments have changed uniforms from stiff polyester button down shirts to more [...]

April 25th, 2016|GOVERNMENTS|

The Upside-Down and Backwards Government-Wide Statement of Activities

Watch Brian Barksdale as he discusses the role of the government-wide statement of activities -- and why many call it the "upside-down and backwards income statement."

April 21st, 2016|GOVERNMENTS, VIDEO|

Getting the Most from Governmental Financial Statements

A common misconception by governmental entities - municipalities, counties, school boards, and utility boards - is that a financial statement audit finds all instances of fraud, but determining fraud is not necessarily a part of this engagement. A financial statement audit is simply an auditor rendering an opinion that the financial statement numbers [...]

December 16th, 2015|GOVERNMENTS, VIDEO|

Cleaning Up a Single Audit with New Requirements

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has announced sweeping changes to the single audit requirements. The audit threshold has been raised from $500,000 to $750,000, which significantly benefits smaller municipalities, school boards, and other governmental entities. Watch Jason Harpe discuss the impact of the new single audit requirements and sub-recipient monitoring. [...]


Bond…Government Bonds

Do government bond ratings seem as complex to you as a plot line in a James Bond film? Not to worry. We’ll explain the ins and outs of government bonds – no code breaking software needed. What are government bonds? When investing in government bonds, you are essentially loaning the federal government or a municipality [...]

February 8th, 2014|GOVERNMENTS|

Municipal Bond Arbitrage, Billy Ray Valentine, and What They Have in Common

When you hear the term “arbitrage,” your mind may wander to William Raymond "Billy Ray" Valentine (Eddie Murphy) and Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) feverishly trading orange juice futures in the 1980’s movie “Trading Places.” Arbitrage seems to be a concept reserved for the most elite investment traders and financiers in the world–like Randolph and [...]

October 8th, 2013|GOVERNMENTS|

Evolving Risk to States and Other Governmental Entities Regarding Data Breaches

GovernmentalWhile the expansion of technology—especially the Internet—delivers many benefits, it also produces risks and threats to both individuals and organizations. One of those threats is cyber security, where criminals use technology, stealth, and cunning to rob others. One popular crime among cybercriminals is identity (ID) theft, which has become rampant with costs totaling millions each [...]

November 8th, 2012|GOVERNMENTS|

GASB 68: How Empty Cookie Jars are Like Unfunded Pensions

We’ve all had that moment when you reach into the jar for a cookie but only find an empty jar. Now imagine that you’re reaching into the jar for your pension benefits and still coming up empty handed. Most of us have heard the concerns about the underfunding of the nation’s Social Security system – [...]

July 8th, 2012|GOVERNMENTS|

Measurement Requirements of Termination Benefits

There are two types of termination benefits—voluntary termination benefits and involuntary termination benefits—that governments should evaluate. The two types have different recognition requirements and measurement requirements. In addition to recognition requirements, termination benefits also have measurement requirements. Healthcare-related termination benefits that are provided as the result of a large-scale, age-related program (for example, an early-retirement [...]

March 8th, 2012|GOVERNMENTS|

What is a Governmental Component Unit?

A governmental component unit is a legally separate organization for which the elected officials of the primary government are financially accountable. In addition, component units can be other organizations for which the nature and significance of their relationship with a primary government are such that exclusion would cause the reporting entity’s financial statements to be [...]

January 8th, 2012|GOVERNMENTS|

Two Types of Government Termination Benefits

In an environment of economic instability and budget constraints, many governments are finding themselves at a crossroads and electing to trim personnel as a means of reducing expenditures. There are two basic types of government termination benefits—voluntary and involuntary. These termination benefits have certain accounting issues that should be addressed when recording and reporting these [...]

December 8th, 2011|GOVERNMENTS|

Citizen Centric Governmental Reporting

OK – tell the truth…How many people do you think really read that annual governmental financial report from cover to cover?  Do we (CPAs and governmental officials) really think that citizens of a municipality, county, or state actually understand all of the wonderful financial data – or that the report even includes the things they [...]

November 8th, 2011|GOVERNMENTS|

Use a Governmental Performance Audit to See If You Measure Up

Performance doesn’t just happen. It is the result of having a well-established plan with measurable goals and objectives – and making sure that the success of the plan is evaluated and improved as necessary.  There are important issues that should be periodically considered and measured at all levels of government through a governmental performance audit. [...]

June 26th, 2011|GOVERNMENTS|

When Certain Elements Converge, Governmental Fraud Emerges

The three key elements of a governmental fraud are those of all fraud: motivation, opportunity, and rationalization. When these elements converge, white-collar criminals often emerge—and they vary greatly from the average criminal. Fraud perpetrator profiles illustrate that educational background and criminal history defy stereotypes. Common Criteria of Employees Committing Governmental Fraud The governmental employees most [...]

May 27th, 2011|GOVERNMENTS|

4 Benefits of a Government Audit Committee

Outside of accounting circles, “audit” isn’t anyone’s favorite word. “Government” may not be on many people’s Top 10 list either. But a “government audit committee” (even though it has a certain bureaucratic ring to it), is actually a good idea for a number of reasons. In a nutshell, a government audit committee helps governments at [...]

April 4th, 2011|GOVERNMENTS|

Financial Reporting of Compensated Absences for Governmental Entities

How to financially report compensated absences for governmental entities is a common question. There are two major categories of compensated absences: Vacation leave and similar compensated absences (with the exception of sick leave) should be accrued when the benefits are earned and it is probable that the employee will be compensated through paid time off [...]

January 8th, 2011|GOVERNMENTS|