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Governmental Accounting Made Easy

ISBN: 978-0-471-68698-9
256 pages
November 2004
Governmental Accounting Made Easy (0471686980) cover image


Read, interpret, and analyze governmental financial statements–Governmental Accounting Made Easy explains it all

Clearly explaining how to read and analyze the financial statements of governments and governmental organizations, Governmental Accounting Made Easy assists you-accountant or not-to interpret governmental financial statements. This easy-to-understand book guides the reader in understanding how these individual topics come together to form a whole, under the Governmental Accounting Standards Board 34 (GASB 34) financial reporting model.

This indispensable resource covers

  • Basic accounting concepts underlying governmental accounting and financial reporting
  • Basic financial statements prepared for a government, including government-wide and fund financial statements
  • Note disclosures that accompany governmental financial statements
  • Complicated accounting issues commonly found in governmental financial statements
  • Future issues impacting governmental accounting and financial reporting
  • Expert advice from Warren Ruppel, author of Wiley GAAP for Governments 2009

Providing a simplified background and discussion of a broad range of governmental accounting topics, Governmental Accounting Made Easy authoritatively and thoroughly guides you through every aspect of governmental accounting and financial reporting.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Introduction and Background.

What Are Generally Accepted Accounting Principles?

Who Sets Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for Governments?

Do Governments Need to Comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles?

Why Is Governmental Accounting and Financial Reporting Different from Commercial and Not-for-Profit Accounting and Financial Reporting?

To What Entities Do Governmental Generally Accepted Accounting Principles Apply?

Chapter 2: Basic Governmental Accounting Concepts.

Understanding the Different Bases of Accounting.

Understanding What Measurement Focuses Are Used by Governments.

Defining and Understanding the Nature of Assets.

Defining and Understanding the Nature of Liabilities.

Defining and Understanding the Nature of Net Assets.

Chapter 3: Understanding Fund Accounting.

Fund Fundamentals.

Governmental Funds.

Proprietary Funds.

Fiduciary Funds.

Chapter 4: Basics of Governmental Financial Statements.

General-Purpose Financial Statements.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis.

The Basic Financial Statements.

Required Supplementary Information.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

Chapter 5: Understanding the Reporting Entity.


Accountability Focus.

Financial Reporting Entity Defined.

Display of Component Units.

Chapter 6: Revenues from Nonexchange Transactions.

Classes of Nonexchange Transactions.

Accounting Requirements.

Property Taxes.

Income and Sales Taxes, and Other Derived Tax Revenues.

Adjustments for the Accrual Basis of Accounting.

Grants and Other Financial Assistance.

Chapter 7: Capital Assets.

Where Are Capital Assets Recorded in the Financial Statements?

Recording and Valuing Capital Assets.

Understanding Depreciation.

Using the Modified Approach in Lieu of Depreciating Infrastructure Assets.

The Basics of Capitalized Interest.

Capital Assets Resulting from Capital Lease Transactions.

Impairments of Capital Assets.

Chapter 8: Accounting for Pensions.

GASBS 27 Requirements for Defined Benefit Plans.

Calculation of the ARC.

Parameters for Actuarial Calculations, Including the ARC.

Net Pension Obligation.

Recording Pension-Related Assets, Liabilities, and Expenditures/Expenses.

Pension Disclosures.

Employers with Defined Contribution Plans.

Chapter 9: Sundry Accounting Topics.

Accounting for Investments.

Reporting Unrealized Gains or Losses.

Investment and Deposit Disclosures.

Compensated Absence Accruals.

Landfill Closure and Postclosure Care Costs.

Derivatives, Including Interest Rate Swaps.

Securities Lending Transactions.

Chapter 10: Upcoming Developments in Governmental Accounting.

Other Postemployment Benefits.

Economic Condition Reporting—Statistical Section.

Derivatives and Hedging.

Pollution Remediation Obligations.

Net Asset and Fund Balance Reporting.

Service Efforts and Accomplishments (SEA) Reporting.


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Author Information

Warren Ruppel, CPA, began his career at KPMG Peat Marwick in 1979 and joined Deloitte & Touche in 1989 to specialize in audits of not-for-profit organizations and governments. He has since served as the chief financial officer of an international not-for-profit organization and as the assistant comptroller responsible for the accounting and financial reporting for one of the largest cities in the United States.
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"...a good written summary of the issues...illuminating..." (AccountingWEB UK, 6th September 2005)
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