Unformatted text preview: Chapter 02 - Principles of Accounting and Financial Reporting for State and Local Governments CHAPTER 2: PRINCIPLES OF ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL
REPORTING FOR STATE AND LOCAL
OUTLINE Number Topic Type/Task Status
(re: 14/e) Describe
Define and explain
New 2-10 Governmental activities
Component unit reporting
Definition of fund
Modified accrual; definition and rules
Distinguishing effects of governmental
Major fund criteria Explain New Cases:
2-1 Defining the reporting entity Internet; locating
information in the
Analysis; explanation 2-3 Questions:
2-3 Accounting and reporting principles
Identification of major funds; application of
major fund criteria Internet; identification; calculation New Exercises/Problems:
Examine the CAFR
Multiple Choice 2-3
Items 1,3, and
2-7 revised 2-5
Matching government-wide and fund financial
Matching transactions with funds
General long-term liability and general capital
Determination of major funds 2-1 Matching
report 2-6 revised Chapter 02 - Principles of Accounting and Financial Reporting for State and Local Governments CHAPTER 2: PRINCIPLES OF ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL
REPORTING FOR STATE AND LOCAL
GOVERNMENTS Answers to Questions
2-1. Certain core services are provided by most general purpose governments—those related
to the protection of life and property (e.g., police and fire protection), public works (e.g.,
streets and highways, bridges, and public buildings), parks and recreation facilities and
programs, and cultural and social services, among others. Governments must also incur
costs for general administrative support (such as, data processing, finance, and personnel)
of its service departments. Core governmental services, together with general
administrative support, comprise the major part of what GASB refers to as governmental
activities. The measurement focus and basis of accounting for these activities is on the
flow of current financial resources on the modified accrual basis in the governmental
funds and on the flow of economic resources on the accrual basis in the Governmental
Activities column of the government-wide financial statements. 2-2. The business-type activities of a government include public utilities (such as electric,
water, gas, and sewer utilities), transportation systems, toll roads and bridges, hospitals,
parking garages and lots, liquor stores, golf courses, airports, and swimming pools,
among other activities. Many of these activities are intended to be self-supporting by
charging users for the services they receive. Focusing financial reporting on economic
resources recognized on the accrual basis of accounting allows the government to
determine whether charges for services are sufficient to cover the full cost of the activity.
This measurement focus and basis of accounting is the same used for reporting
governmental activities in the government-wide financial statements, but quite different
from the current financial resources measurement focus and modified accrual basis of
accounting used in the governmental funds. 2-3. Fiduciary activities of a government involve the government’s discharge of its fiduciary
responsibilities, either as an agent or trustee, for parties outside the government. For
example, a government may serve as agent for other governments in the administering
and collecting of taxes. Fiduciary activities are accounted for in agency funds, investment
trust funds, pension trust funds, and private-purpose trust funds.
Fiduciary activities are reported only in the fund financial statements and not in the
government-wide financial statements because these resources belong to external parties,
not the government. Fiduciary funds use accrual accounting and focus on economic
resources, as do business-type activities. However, reporting for fiduciary activities
differs from that for governmental funds since the latter funds focus primarily on the
budget and current financial resources. 2-2 Chapter 02 - Principles of Accounting and Financial Reporting for State and Local Governments Ch. 2, Answers (Cont’d) 2-4. A reporting entity consists of the primary government and all other legally separate
organizations for which the government is financially accountable. A primary
government is defined as a state government, a general purpose local government, or a
special purpose government that has a separately elected governing body and that is
fiscally independent of other state and local governments. A component unit differs from
the primary government mainly in terms of the direction of fiscal accountability. A
component unit is financially accountable to the primary government whereas the
primary government is financially accountable for a component unit. 2-5. False. GASB standards indicate that individual component units should prepare separate
financial statements and make them available to the public. Reporting financial
information of component units in one or more separate columns to the right of those for
the primary government in the government-wide financial statements is known as a
discrete presentation. Blending is the alternative method if the financial activities of the
component unit are so intertwined with those of the primary government that they are, in
substance, the same as the primary government. In blended reporting, the financial
information of the component unit is blended with that of the primary government, both
in the appropriate fund and government-wide statements. 2-6. The three categories of funds are governmental, proprietary, and fiduciary. The fund
types included in each category are shown below:
Special revenue funds
Debt service funds
Capital projects funds
Permanent funds Proprietary
Internal service funds Fiduciary
Investment trust funds
Pension trust funds
Private purpose trust
funds These categories correspond to the three activity categories with the exception that
financial information for internal service funds is generally reported in the Governmental
Activities column of the government-wide financial statements. However, if an internal
service fund predominantly serves an enterprise fund, its financial information is reported
in the Business-type Activities column.
2-7. As a fiscal entity, a fund has its own resources and can incur liabilities to be repaid from
the fund resources. As an accounting entity, the fund has its own self-balancing set of
accounts. 2-8. Governmental funds, the five fund types listed in Illustration 2-2 of the text, focus on the
flow of current financial resources. Consequently, these funds use the modified accrual
basis of accounting. Under modified accrual revenues are recognized if the inflow is
measurable and available to pay current period obligations. Expenditures are recognized
as incurred if they will be paid from available resources. 2-3 Chapter 02 - Principles of Accounting and Financial Reporting for State and Local Governments Ch. 2, Answers (Cont’d) 2-9. General Fund
Other Financing Sources—
Proceeds of 5-Year Note
Governmental Activities, Government-wide
Mortgage Note Payable
Governmental Activities, Government-wide
Cash Credits 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 2-10. GASBS 34 requires that any fund that meets the following relative size criteria be
designated as major:
a. b. Total assets, liabilities, revenues or expenditures/expenses of that governmental or enterprise fund are
at least 10 percent of the corresponding element total (assets, liabilities, and so forth) for all funds of
that category or type (that is, total governmental or total enterprise funds), and (emphasis added)
The same element that met the 10 percent criterion in (a) is at least 5 percent of the corresponding
element total for all governmental and enterprise funds combined. In addition to funds that meet these two criteria, the General Fund of a state or local
government must always be reported as a major fund. Finally, at its discretion
management can report as a major fund any other governmental or enterprise fund that it
considers of significant importance to financial statement users.
Solutions to Cases
2-1. Obtaining a CAFR is becoming less difficult as a growing number of local governments
post their CAFRs and budgets on their Web sites, as well as on the GASB’s Web site.
Usually a bit of surfing under the Finance Department link of a government’s Web site
will reveal the CAFR, which typically is downloadable as an Adobe Acrobat file. At any
rate, once a CAFR is obtained it should be a relatively easy task to scroll down to the
notes to the financial statements. Under the heading Summary of Significant Accounting
Policies, the first note usually found is the description of the reporting entity. All
information needed to complete this case should be readily available once the student
finds the reporting entity note. 2-4 Chapter 02 - Principles of Accounting and Financial Reporting for State and Local Governments Ch. 2, Solutions (Cont’d) 2-2. A quick look at these financial statements reveals that Ms. Eager has almost no
knowledge of GASB reporting requirements. Let’s examine these financial statements
from the viewpoint of (a) a local CPA who is considering auditing the town’s financial
statements and (b) a member of the town council or a citizen.
a. As a CPA knowledgeable about governmental accounting, you should see many red
flags regarding this potential audit engagement. Do the financial statements that Ms.
Eager has prepared conform to GAAP? The short answer is no! To the CPA
contemplating whether to serve as auditor, these financial statements should set off
alarm bells. He or she only has to compare these statements to the variety of
government-wide and fund financial statements required by GASB standards (see
Illustrations A1-1 through A1-11) to realize that they fall far short of what is required
by GAAP. Among the many problems the CPA should detect (although students will
probably miss many of these problems at this early point in the course) are the
1. The town does not present separate government-wide and fund financial
statements, although with a little work the balance sheet could be converted into a
government-wide statement of net assets.
2. The statement of activities is not in the cost of services format prescribed by
3. Because no fund financial statements are prepared, key information such as
unreserved and reserved fund balances of the General Fund (see Illustration A1-3,
for example) and the Road Tax Fund are not presented.
4. Budget and actual comparison information is not presented, either as basic
statements or required supplementary information schedules, as required (see the
Appendix to this chapter).
5. Expense detail is lacking. More functional detail is needed under “Government
services,” such as general government, public safety, public works, and other
relevant functions, so the amounts expended for each service area can be
determined. Presumably, this would also reduce the relatively large amount
reported as “Miscellaneous.”
6. Why are accounts receivable relating to the Sewer Fund missing from the balance
sheet? The presence of sewer fees on the statement of activities suggests that the
Sewer Fund is being operated as an enterprise fund. If so, billings that have not
been collected at year-end should be reported. In addition, GAAP requires
accrual of a receivable and revenue for services provided but unbilled at year-end. 2-5 Chapter 02 - Principles of Accounting and Financial Reporting for State and Local Governments Ch. 2, Solutions, 2-2 (Cont’d) 7. If the Sewer Fund is an enterprise fund, then a statement of cash flows is required
for that fund.
8. Where are the notes to the financial statements? The notes are a required and
integral part of any set of financial statements.
9. Where is the MD&A—also required by GAAP?
Given the serious reporting deficiencies observed, it is likely the CPA would be required
to render an adverse opinion, since it appears that the financial statements do not fairly
present financial information in conformity with GAAP. Depending on the quality of
the town’s financial records, it is also possible that the CPA would have to issue a
disclaimer report due to missing or insufficient financial information. (Note: You may
wish to look at Chapter 12 for the meaning of adverse and disclaimed audit reports.)
b. 2-3. A member of the town council or a citizen of the town should be concerned as well
about several of the points made in part a above. Although the treasurer may still be
preparing statements of cash receipts and disbursements for each fund, the lack of
information about cost of services for governmental functions and sewer operations
should be of concern. Moreover, unless the town budgets on a cash basis, the lack of
GAAP-based fund statements results in a lack of full information about available
financial resources in the General and Road Tax Funds for budgeting purposes. The
lack of budget and actual comparison statements or schedules should also be of
concern to a member of the town council or a citizen. Identification of which funds are reported as major funds is readily accomplished by
viewing the governmental funds balance sheet and statement of revenues, expenditures,
and changes in fund balances. Once a student calculates 10 percent of total governmental
fund assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenditures, and 5 percent of governmental and
enterprise fund totals for the same elements, it should be relatively simple to compare the
totals for these elements for each major fund to the 10 percent and 5 percent amounts.
Comparisons for the General Fund are unnecessary since this fund is always reported as a
major fund. Solutions to Exercises and Problems
2-1. Each student should have a different governmental annual report, so will have different
answers to questions in this exercise. We suggest allowing students to discuss their
answers which will give them an idea of the range of the answers of other students. 2-2. 1. b.
2. c .
5. d. 6. b.
2-6 Chapter 02 - Principles of Accounting and Financial Reporting for State and Local Governments Ch. 2, Solutions (Cont’d) 2-3. 1. T.
3. F. Fiduciary activities are reported only in the fiduciary fund financial statements.
5. F. Integration of budgetary accounts is required for certain governmental fund
types, but is not recommended for proprietary funds.
6. F. A component unit whose activities are closely intertwined with those of the
primary government are reported by blending, which reports the component unit
financial information in the same columns as the primary government.
8. F. While it is true that all enterprise fund financial information is reported in the
Business-type Activities column of the government-wide financial statements,
most internal service funds predominantly provide goods or services to
governmental funds and therefore the financial information of these funds is
generally reported in the Governmental Activities column.
9. F. Depreciation of general capital assets should be reported in the Governmental
Activities column of the government-wide financial statements but not in the
governmental fund financial statements.
10. T. 2-4. 1.
4. Governmental funds
government-wide 5. Business-type activities,
government-wide b, e, f, i
a, d, g, h, j
a, c, g, k
a, g, h, j (Note: Internal service fund information
is typically reported in governmental activities)
a, g, j 2-7 Chapter 02 - Principles of Accounting and Financial Reporting for State and Local Governments Ch. 2, Solutions (Cont’d) 2-5.
h. 1. Record issuance of $100,000, 3-year note:
Other Financing Sources—
3-Year Note Payable
Notes Payable Debits
100,000 Credits 100,000 100,000
100,000 2. Record purchase of vehicles at a total cost of $100,000.
100,000 3. Recording these transactions in this manner is completely consistent with GASB
standards. Because the General Fund focuses on current financial resources and uses
the modified accrual basis of accounting, it does not record long-term liabilities, but
does record the inflow of the proceeds of the loan as an Other Financing Source.
This is a temporary account that increases fund balance in the General Fund. At the
government-wide level, however, the focus is on the flow of economic resources
using the accrual basis of accounting. Consequently, the long-term liability for the
$100,000 3-year note is recorded in the Governmental Activities general journal and
reported in the Governmental Activities column of the government-wide statement
of net assets.
Similarly, the General Fund records the outflow of current financial resources as an
Expenditure, a temporary account that reduces fund balance of the General Fund.
The general capital assets are recorded as 2-8 Chapter 02 - Principles of Accounting and Financial Reporting for State and Local Governments Ch. 2, Solutions, 2-6 (Cont’d) an asset, Equipment, in the Governmental Activities general journal at the
government-wide level. The police vehicles will be depreciated at the
government-wide level each year. Depreciation has no effect on the General Fund.
Town Manager, Town of Trenton
Major Special Revenue Funds As shown by the blue shading in the calculations provided below, only the
Housing and Urban Development Grant must be reported as a major fund.
Neither the Gas Tax Revenue Fund nor the Trenton Library Fund meets the
GASB threshold for major fund reporting; that is, none of the four elements of
those funds (assets, liabilities, revenues, or expenditures) is at least 10% of the
corresponding total of all governmental funds and at least 5% of the
corresponding total of all governmental and enterprise funds. Both total assets
and total revenues of the Housing and Urban Development Grant meet the 10
percent of all governmental funds and 5 percent of all governmental and
enterprise funds combined criteria. Although the Gas Tax Revenue Funds did not
meet the criteria for major fund reporting, rapidly escalating gas taxes tied to the
current high price of gasoline might warrant reporting this fund as a major fund to
improve accountability to citizens. GASBS 34 permits government officials to
designate any governmental or enterprise fund as a major fund if, in their
judgment, the fund is of sufficient importance to warrant designation as a major
fund. Calculation of Major Fund Thresholds
Gas Tax Revenue Fund
No-4.6% Housing and Urban
No-4.9% 2-9 Trenton Library Fund
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