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GASB 68 & 71 Implementation, Project Master and Other School Finance Topics


  • Two Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statements effective for fiscal year ending June 30, 2015;
  • Project Master for FY2015 Grants;
  • Other Topics of Interest for School Finance Officers.


The summer is coming to an end which means year-end closeouts, teachers and students coming back to school and the start of a new fiscal year.  From the audit side, it means your auditors being on-site GASB 68for final fieldwork, the implementation of new GASB pronouncements and striving to meet the December 1st deadline.  Taking all of that into consideration, we at McAbee, Schwartz, Halliday & Co. wanted to give you an update on what we have gathered about the new GASB pronouncements (GASB No. 68 & 71) and some other topics of interest to school finance officers and their staff.

GASB Statements

GASB Statement 68 – Effective June 30, 2015

GASB 68 is the newest Governmental Accounting Standards Board pronouncement to be issued and made effective.  Effective for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2014, this change will affect all schools districts’ June 30, 2015 financial statements.

GASB 68 – “Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pension – An Amendment of GASB Statement No. 27”

GASB 68’s primary objective will be to improve the accounting and financial reporting of pension liabilities on the financial statements of local governments.  This statement will require that each school district/vocational center that participates in a pension plan administered through trusts (i.e., the South Carolina Retirement System) place their portion of the net pension liability as well as their total deferred outflows and deferred inflows of resources on the financial statements.  The purpose for this change, according to GASB, is to improve the way state and local governments report pension liabilities and expenses so that there is a more realistic representation of the complete impact of pension obligations, to improve the decision-usefulness of the reported information and to increase transparency, consistency and comparability of pension information across governmental units.

This adjustment will be part of the government-wide journal entries prepared by McAbee, Schwartz, Halliday & Co. when transitioning from the fund financial statements to the government-wide financial statements.  Because this will be a cumulative change in accounting principle, it will restate your beginning (July 1, 2014) net position.  This, again, is NOT the result of an error (prior-period adjustment) in financial reporting, but a change in accounting principle.

As many of you have discovered over the past year, PEBA has been gathering the necessary information to create their reporting packet for this requirement.  Many of you received various requests for information and surveys to fill out.  All of that information went into the information PEBA has provided auditors.  PEBA has provided audited schedules to show each school entity’s proportional share of all parts of the newly required reporting.  There should not be a need for the school entities to gather any additional information to meet this new requirement.

Financial Statement Impact

Unfortunately, each district/vocational center will feel a different level of impact on their financial statements from GASB 68 since it is based off of the entity’s proportional share of the total liability, as calculated by PEBA.  We are more than happy to discuss the level of impact on your particular entity with you individually at any point in time.

One major thing to keep in mind and remember is that it will only affect the government-wide financial statements and not your fund financial statements.  This will strictly affect your Total Net Position on your Statement of Net Position (Exhibit A) and your Statement of Activities (Exhibit B) with the net effect shown through the corresponding reconciliations to the fund financial statements.

GASB Statement 71 – Effective June 30, 2015

GASB Statement No. 71 is an amendment to GASB 68.  The purpose is to note that any contributions made after the measurement date of the plan and within the fiscal year under audit are to be recorded as deferred outflows of resources added to the deferred outflows of resources from the specified plan.  This will be implemented in the same manner as GASB 68 and you will see the same financial statement effect.  GASB 71 will be implemented because the measurement date of the PEBA plan is July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 (this period is allowed for measurement by GASB) but it does not coincide with the fiscal year.  This is a minor addition to the more significant GASB 68.

Project Master

Fiscal Year 2015 Project Masters

One significant change from the State Department has to do with the FY15 project master reports.  The State Department has informed us, via Felicia Poston, that they will not be sending out project master reports for any grant funding given in fiscal year 2014-2015.  Ms. Poston’s office said that they will be sending out project master reports for the 2014 grant year, but for 2015 grant year they will not.

For the FY15 grants, the budget to actual summary report from GAPS will be the replacement for the project master report.  It will show the budgeted amount, expenditure amount and net budget remaining.  The State Department will continue to fine-tune these reports to make them more user friendly, but these reports will show the same information as project master would for prior years.

Other Topics of Interest for School Finance Officers

Single Audit Guide Committee

McAbee, Schwartz, Halliday & Co., as it has for many years, has representation on the State Department of Education’s Single Audit Committee.  This committee is charged with reviewing the Single Audit Guide, as published by the SC Department of Education, which is the document auditors use to format and audit your financial statements. Although there is a long-standing relationship between our firm and the State Department, this relationship has been renewed and strengthened over the past year through constant communication and collaboration with the State Department.

We are always looking for ways that we can make the audit and audit guide more applicable to the current financial interests of those who use it.  Two examples of this would be the addition of all functions and objects to the Capital Projects Fund in the FY14-15 Audit Guide and the addition of the 500 Debt Service expenditures to the General Fund.  If there is anything you feel should be changed, added or removed from the audit guide to make it more applicable, we would love to hear from you.  Just call or email us and let us know what changes you think should be made and we will gladly pass those along to the State Department.

Additional Accounting Assistance

We have recently received many requests for additional accounting assistance.  Whether it is reviewing your pupil activity records for consistency with policies and procedures or helping you with closing your books and complex accounting issues, we are more than welcome to help in any form or capacity you need.  If you find yourself needing any additional services, please let us know. We would love to come and discuss ways that we can make the services we provide you more beneficial to you, your staff and your District as a whole.

 For any questions please feel free to call or email us:

H. Eddie McAbee, Jr. , CPA       Partner emcabee@mshcpa.com
Q. Stan Halliday, CPA       Partner shalliday@mshcpa.com
Andrew P. Dobson, CPA In-Charge Auditor adobson@mshcpa.com
Stephanie A. Coln, CPA In-Charge Auditor scoln@mshcpa.com
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