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Emily Parker

GASB 84 Fiduciary Activities Exposure Draft: Comments due February 28, 2019


The recently released exposure draft of the Implementation Guide for Fiduciary Activities from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board begins to shed additional light on how governments should be implementing GASB 84 Fiduciary Activities. Organizations have been anxiously awaiting the proposed guide as the standard is effective for periods beginning after December 15, 2018.

The basic premise behind GASB 84 is to provide better financial reporting for organizations that have an inherent fiduciary responsibility for funds they hold, a concept that has not been historically required for some entities and inconsistently applied by others in the past.

The statement breaks down the four major categories of fiduciary funds that should be reported:

  1. Pension (and other employee benefit) trust funds
  2. Investment trust funds
  3. Private-purpose trust funds
  4. Custodial funds

As organizations have been preparing for implementation, questions continue to arise about which of their numerous activities really fall under the purview of GASB 84. The implementation guide takes a step to answer some of those questions.

The exposure draft answers some of the basic employee benefit plan questions that have been posed as a result of the standard (though largely through reference to criteria found in other GASB standards―like a “choose your own adventure” for accountants), but also delves into specifics around treatment of cemetery association funds, chess club fundraising and student activity fees.

The Exposure Draft is well worth the read at this early stage, especially as it digs into what constitutes “control” under GASB 84. Comments on the Exposure Draft are due by February 28, 2019.