with GASB 62
A primer for water leaders on how to debt-finance distributed infrastructure projects and consumer rebates.
In 2017, we continued to change how national agencies account for natural capital. We strengthened our partnership and influence with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), which sets accounting rules for state and local governments throughout the country. By helping GASB clarify the use of one of its standards – a clarification that was recently published in GASB’s 2018 Implementation Guide – we opened a way for state and local agencies to count natural capital as assets. This change will allow agencies to unlock the financing needed to scale up installations of green infrastructure as well as conservation and restoration projects that can save utilities money while also improving community health and resilience.
What is GASB 62?
GASB 62 is a compilation of various standards issued by GASB’s sister agency, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). GASB 62 paragraphs 476-500 establish the accounting standards for “Regulated Operations,” which is based on FASB’s Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 71 from 1982.20 In that statement, FASB pointed out that utility accounting is different enough from simple accounting to require a separate standard. FASB said: “This Statement may require that a cost be accounted for in a different manner from that required by another authoritative pronouncement. In that case, this Statement is to be followed because it reflects the economic effects of the rate-making process—effects not considered in other authoritative pronouncements.”
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