GASB finalizes Omnibus 2020 as catchall standard

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The Governmental Accounting Standards Board finalized Statement 92 on Wednesday, which covers a potpourri of eight unrelated issues that all come under the same umbrella of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

It’s aptly been named Omnibus 2020.

Kip Betz, spokesman for the Governmental Accounting Standards Board
Kip Betz, spokesman for the Governmental Accounting Standards Board

“It’s just that there are some very small issues that have to be addressed through standard setting, but none of them are big enough to do a standalone,” said GASB spokesman Kip Betz. “So you just package up a number of small standard setting items into an omnibus and address them like that. They aren’t related, but you can address them all quickly through an omnibus.”

The omnibus states that its objective is “to enhance comparability in accounting and financial reporting and to improve the consistency of authoritative literature by addressing practice issues that have been identified during implementation and application of certain GASB statements.”

The omnibus modifies the effective date of Statement No. 87 covering leases to fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2019 to address concerns regarding interim financial reports and encourages earlier application.

It also covers the reporting of intra-entity transfers of assets between a primary government employer and a component unit defined benefit pension plan or defined benefit other postemployment benefit (OPEB) plan.

The third section covers the applicability of GASB Statements 67, 68, 73 and 74 covering pensions and Post Employment Benefit Plans.

The fourth section covers the applicability of certain requirements of Statement 84 on Fiduciary Activities to postemployment benefit arrangements.

The last four sections cover: measurement of liabilities and assets related to asset retirement obligations in a government acquisition; reporting by public entity risk pools for amounts that are recoverable from reinsurers or excess insurers; reference to nonrecurring fair value measurements of assets or liabilities in authoritative literature; and terminology used to refer to derivative instruments.

“Preparers of government financial statements will use this,” Betz said. “And it resolves a number of standard setting issues that were identified through the implementation process.”

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