GASB Research

ACC 407 – Brown

Fall 2020

Case – GASB Research


Case Discussion


During 2020, the United States, along with the rest of world, was significantly impacted by the novel COVID-19 coronavirus, resulting in a global pandemic.  As a result of the virus, people were required to “shelter in place” at their homes for a number of months to try and protect themselves from the extremely contagious and sometimes fatal virus and to “slow the spread” of the virus in their respective communities.  The majority of employees were required to work from home, and businesses, schools, and state and local governments had to pivot quickly to adapt to the uncertainties and challenges surrounding the virus.


In response to the drastic impact, the U.S. Federal Government provided resources from programs established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), including the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).


For state and local governments receiving CRF resources from the U.S. Federal Government, the U.S. Department of Treasury imposed requirements that state and local governments use the funds provided to cover only the costs that were considered necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the coronavirus disease.  Expenditures that were considered necessary due to the public health emergency included payroll related to personnel who are substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to COVID-19, expenditures incurred to support private hospital operations, expenditures incurred to assist in preventing homelessness, and resources provided to affected citizens, among other expenditures.


For the CRF resources received by state and local governments, please utilize the guidance from the GASB codification to discuss the following:


  • Should CRF resources be considered grants or other financial assistance?
  • Should CRF resources be considered exchange or nonexchange transactions? If nonexchange, please also discuss which specific type of nonexchange transaction they should be considered – imposed, derived, government-mandated, or voluntary nonexchange transactions.
  • Should resources received from the CRF be subject to eligibility requirements or to purpose restrictions?
  • How should the CRF resources be recognized in the financial statements of the recipient state or local government, when the funds are received from the federal government?
  • When should the CRF resources be recognized as revenue in the recipient state or local government’s financial statements?




Given the facts provided above, provide a summary overview of the case and specifically address the specific questions.  Explain your analysis and document your conclusion fully, including specific references for relevant technical literature section(s) within the GASB Codification that were utilized in reaching your decisions.


The case should be double-spaced, typewritten, and should not exceed two pages in length.  Your case assignments will be graded on their content and form.  From a content standpoint, the paper should identify the problem(s) and any key issues.


The paper should also present your logic or reasoning leading to your solution to the problem(s), including specific references to and quotations from the applicable authoritative standards, including Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Accounting Standards Codification (ASC), used to make the decision.


When citing references within your case assignment, the technical literature should be referenced utilizing the codification format (Example: GASB ASC 2100.102-103).  From a form standpoint, your assignments will be graded for grammar, coherency, proper use of paragraphs, spelling, etc.


You are strongly encouraged to use Grammarly (students can set up an account for free at using your email address with the access code JQiAolGyohEjQGyv) and/or visit the USM Writing Center to have your paper reviewed and edited prior to turning in for a grade.


**Your final paper is to be submitted as a Word document to my email address ( 


Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Governmental Accounting Research System (GARS)


As part of your case research assignment, you will need to search the online Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Governmental Accounting Research System (GARS) website for authoritative support for the positions you are taking in your solution.


Your solution should contain specific references to the GASB Accounting Standards Codification (GASB ASC) standard numbers you are relying upon.


The link to the website, along with student access username and password information, is provided below.  They are case sensitive.


Academic Login link:


Student access (effective for the 2020-2021 academic year):


Username – AAA51268

Password – FjFX53q


The “Original Pronouncements” section contains the GASB literature with the “old” pre-codification references (GASB Statement No. 1, etc.).  Since the GASB technical literature has now been codified, you should use the “Codification” section when you are citing technical resources in your cases (similar to what you have done in referencing the FASB Codification for your financial accounting classes).


For example, if you wanted to provide information for the hierarchy of GAAP, you may want to reference the following information:


.101         The GAAP hierarchy sets forth what constitutes GAAP for all state and local governmental entities. It establishes the order of priority of pronouncements and other sources of accounting and financial reporting guidance that a governmental entity should apply. The sources of authoritative GAAP are categorized in descending order of authority as follows:


  1. Officially established accounting principles—Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statements (Category A) 1
  2. GASB Technical Bulletins; GASB Implementation Guides; 2 and literature of the AICPA cleared by the GASB 3 (Category B).


Authoritative GAAP is incorporated periodically into this Codification, and when presented in this Codification, it retains its authoritative status. [GASBS 76, ¶4]


.102         If the accounting treatment for a transaction or other event is not specified by a pronouncement in Category A, a governmental entity should consider whether the accounting treatment is specified by a source in Category B. [GASBS 76, ¶5]


This information can be located at the following path: GARS / Codification / I. General Principles / 1000 – The Hierarchy of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.  If you were to include this citation as the technical literature in your case analysis, you would reference it as the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Codification 1000.101-102, or GASB Codification 1000.101-102.


You will be required to include this reference in your case, and you will be graded upon both choosing the correct GASB literature and also for proper referencing of the GASB Codification in your memo.


Also be certain that whatever source you base your case upon and cite in your memo is the most authoritative technical literature (i.e. the GASB Statements) rather than less authoritative documents (i.e. Documents for Public Comment).  All papers should cite at least one (or more) reference to Category A pronouncements (GASB Statements), and then may also include references to Category B literature (GASB Technical Bulletins, GASB Implementation guides, and literature of the AICPA cleared by the GASB) as additional support for your conclusion reached.  See GASB Statement No. 76, The Hierarchy of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for State and Local Governments (GASB Codification 1000.101-105) for additional details on which specific technical literature qualifies as Category A and/or Category B.


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