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The Governmental Accounting Standards Board issuance of GASB Statement No. 34, Basic Financial Statements – and Management's Discussion and Analysis – for State and Local Governments will change the way many municipal water utilities report their financial information and make the information between utilities more comparable and consistent. This paper focuses on the impact GASB 34 will have on infrastructure reporting for municipal utilities, the role information technology will play in compliance, and how the Norfolk, VA Department of Utilities intends to use information technology for compliance. Topics for discussion include the following:

A general overview of the requirements of GASB 34

What implications does GASB 34 have for infrastructure reporting of municipal water utilities?

What are the advantages and disadvantages between the two GASB 34 reporting methods?

What are the general benefits of GASB 34 infrastructure reporting?

How will technology be used to help municipal water utilities comply with GASB 34?

How should utilities select software for the task?

What factors did the Norfolk Department of Utilities consider in choosing an infrastructure reporting method?

What would the Norfolk Department of Utilities have to do in order to implement the method that it did not choose and what would be the cost?

One of the most significant changes required by GASB 34 involves reporting the infrastructure assets of municipal water utilities. Although GASB 34 provides two means to report water infrastructure assets, both require a great deal of data up front and consequently, an effective way to comply with the new financial reporting model. There is a wide consensus that information technology is the best way to help municipal water utilities satisfy the requirements.

Each municipal water utility will have to determine which infrastructure approach works best for it and is most cost effective. There are many factors which municipal utilities must consider in their selection of asset management software for compliance with the GASB 34 requirements.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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