Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards No. 29-Heritage Assets and Stewardship Land

Journal of Accountancy, November 2005 | Go to article overview

Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards No. 29-Heritage Assets and Stewardship Land


The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB or "the Board") was established by the Secretary of the Treasury, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Comptroller General in October 1990. It is responsible for promulgating accounting standards for the United States Government. These standards are recognized as generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for the Federal Government.

SUMMARY

This standard changes the classification of information reported for heritage assets and stewardship land provided by Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 8. This standard reclassifies all heritage assets and stewardship land information as basic except for condition information, which is reclassified as required supplementary information (PSI). This standard requires that entities reference a note on the balance sheet that discloses information about heritage assets and stewardship land, but no asset dollar amount should be shown. Instead, the note disclosure provides minimum reporting requirements consistent with the previous standards for heritage assets and stewardship land. These requirements include a description of major categories, physical unit information for the end of the reporting period, physical units added and withdrawn during the year, a description of the methods of acquisition and withdrawal, and condition information.

This standard also requires two new disclosures for heritage assets and stewardship land. Specifically, this standard requires additional reporting disclosures about entity stewardship policies and an explanation of how heritage assets and stewardship land relate to the mission of the entity.

This standard also includes the requirements for the U.S. Government-wide Financial Statement. It provides for a general discussion and directs users to the applicable entities' financial statements for more detailed information on heritage assets and stewardship land.

This standard amends several existing standards. The amendments rescind certain standards or parts of certain standards due to the classification change, as well as serve as a means to incorporate all standards specific to heritage assets and stewardship land into one document.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction
Standards of Federal Financial Accounting
 Heritage Assets (including Multi-use Heritage
  Assets)
   Amendments to Existing Standards
   Definitions
   Recognition and Measurement
   Disclosures and Required Supplementary
   Information
   U.S. Government-wide Financial
   Statement Disclosures
 Stewardship Land
   Amendments to Existing Standards
   Definitions
   Recognition and Measurement
   Disclosures and Required Supplementary
   Information
   U.S. Government-wide Financial Statement
Disclosures
 Effective Date
Appendix A: Basis for Conclusions
  Introduction
  Amendments to Standards
  Basic vs. RSI
  U.S. Government-wide Financial Statement
  Exposure Draft
  Responses to the ED
  Board Consideration of Comments
  Importance to Mission
  Limiting Information Presented
  Categorization and Unitization
  Supporting Documentation
  Additional Guidance
  Effective Date/Phased-In Implementation
  Materiality
  Board Approval
Appendix B: List of Abbreviations

INTRODUCTION

1. The required supplementary stewardship information (RSSI) category, as described in Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (SFFAS) 8, was a response to the unique aspects of the Federal accounting and reporting environment, and to the broad objectives of Federal financial reporting. It was intended to permit flexibility on the part of preparers and auditors that would facilitate reporting relevant, reliable information, including nonfinancial and nonhistorical information. (1)

2. Although some stewardship information may not link directly with the basic financial statements because the data to be reported may be other than in dollar terms, the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (the Board or FASAB) intended that RSSI information would augment the basic financial statements and would receive commensurate audit scrutiny. …

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