Gasb 34

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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In 1999, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board unveiled GASB 34, a new standard that has had an effect on nearly every government office in the country. Statement 34 is a relatively straightforward measure that calls for all offices of government to account for the condition of all of their assets. The implications of GASB 34 for municipal offices are large, but the implications for taxpayers are even larger.

Potentially, all municipalities may encounter huge expenditures from the maintenance costs of public assets. By requiring that the government offices be more accountable for those assets (by identifying them and their conditions), GASB potentially reduces the tax burden borne by citizens and businesses in a community. It also allows the government organizations a clear grasp on the state of their assets, allowing them to make more effective decisions.

GASB 34-Compliant Asset Management Software

Many developers sought to answer the needs of GASB 34 by incorporating the statement into new versions of fixed asset appraisal and management software. As a consequence, many asset management programs are now equipped with more flexibility and power than ever before, and are able to track and organize information regarding countless physical assets. They can also manage and forecast asset depreciation, a function that provides users with quantitative data regarding the effect of time and use on an asset.

Many software manufacturers now allow their GASB 34-compliant asset management and appraisal software to work in tandem with other software modules, such as GIS programs or accounting software. GIS programs work with asset management software to track and manage complex assets of a municipality such transit systems, water systems, and the like. Some accounting software can be connected to asset management software to automatically enter assets acquired by purchase order, with little or no human assistance required.

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