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Unrest in Government Accounting

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Since 1984, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has provided standards and guidance for accounting and financial reporting to state and local government entities. Some, including the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), have proposed that GASB's mission may be complete and its ongoing operation should be reevaluated. Although the GFOA's lineage in government accounting and financial reporting guidance stretches back more than 100 years, little attention was paid until the mid-1970s, when organizations like the AICPA, the General Accounting Office, FASB, and the GFOA recognized a need. Since GASB's inception, a new financial reporting model has been on its agenda. From both a professional and a political standpoint, the issuance and implementation of GASB Statement 34, Basic Financial Statements -- and Management's Discussion and Analysis -- for State and Local Governments, provided the first signs that GASB's existence may be in jeopardy.

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