Academic journal article The Journal of Government Financial Management

A Guiding Hand

Academic journal article The Journal of Government Financial Management

A Guiding Hand

Article excerpt

A lot has been written and said about rules. There are rules of thumb, the Golden Rule, unspoken rules and Robert's Rules. Some say rules are meant to be broken; others realize success and happiness come when rules are followed.

We create and adhere to rules to maintain order-they make our personal lives and families run smoothly, and our jobs and our governments operate effectively and efficiently. Guidance and standards can mean black-and-white rules or, simply, best practices. And, you'll see both forms highlighted throughout this edition of the Journal, from articles that explain new standards to the ethics column that provides guidance on how to handle dilemmas we face.

In our cover story, the author examines how state and local governments can integrate implementing new standards into their annual financial statement preparation process. Beginning on page 18, we look at rules and best practices for providing tax abatements to bolster economic development. In "Hold Your Head & Standards High," authors explain how to stay up to date on new information from standard-setting bodies. Page 32 addresses how organizations will be affected by SSAE 18; page 38 examines standards for third-party assurance as government financial reporting expands; and page 44 explores where, why and how municipalities go out of business. …

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