Thursday, November 22, 2007

GASB: Government Endowment Real Estate to be Valued at Market

GASB Statement 52 will require governments with fiscal years starting June 2008 or later to report endowment real estate, such as buildings, farm land, etc. at fair market value. Gains and losses must be determined and reported and reported as investment income and the government must disclose how it arrived at fair value. The rationale given for the change from historical cost is consistency with pension plan accounting.

To me, this feels like one of those accounting standards which may produce a better balance sheet at the cost of a less-informative operating statement and one where timeliness outranks objectivity. While I can see GASB's rationale, this seems like "fixing something that wasn't broke."


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