Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB)


The Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is an independent organization that establishes and improves standards of accounting and financial reporting specifically for U.S. state and local governments. It was founded in 1984 and its guidance in the form of accounting standards aims to ensure that this information is transparent, reliable, and can be used consistently for decision-making and accountability purposes. GASB is not a government entity but serves the public interest in government accountability.


The phonetics of the keyword “Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB)” is:Government – ‘Guh-vur-muhntAccounting – uh-‘koun-tingStandards – ‘stan-dərdzBoard – ‘bordGASB – ‘gæsb

Key Takeaways

  1. The Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is an independent, private sector organization that establishes and improves financial accounting and reporting standards for U.S. state and local governments.
  2. GASB aims to guide government entities on how to practice ethical accounting, ensuring their financial statements are transparent, understandable, and useful for users such as lawmakers, municipal bond investors, and the general public.
  3. The standards set by GASB are not federal law, but adherence is encouraged, and often required, by lenders, bond markets, and state laws in order to maintain accountability and public trust.


The Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is significant in the business/finance sector as it establishes and improves financial accounting and reporting standards for state and local governments. These standards guide the ways in which these entities prepare and manage their financial statements, ensuring transparency, accountability, and efficiency. By providing a systematic framework, GASB enhances the clarity, consistency, and comparability of the financial information that taxpayers, public officials, investors, and creditors rely on to make informed decisions. Therefore, the GASB has a critical role in promoting fiscal accountability and integrity in the public sector.


The Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) holds a crucial role in improving and setting the standards of financial accounting and reporting for state and local governments in the United States. Its fundamental purpose is to ensure transparency, accountability, and stewardship in government financial reports. By doing so, the board facilitates the understanding of the economic reality of public sector entities. These standards guide the preparation and presentation of financial statements, thereby providing consistent, reliable, and useful information to taxpayers, public officials, creditors, and others who rely on governmental financial statements.Moreover, GASB’s task is to provide the tools that help government entities in executing their public accountability duty. This is achieved through comprehensive financial reports that make evident whether public resources were obtained and used as per the legally approved budgets. Essentially, GASB improves government financial reporting by offering guidance and setting regulations for a variety of financial topics, such as pension and postemployment benefit plans, governmental fund reporting, and tax abatement disclosures. Overall, GASB serves as an indispensable asset to public finance, fostering clarity and trust in government financial management and decision-making processes.


1. Municipal Water and Sewer Department: The local water and sewer department is an example of an entity that must adhere to GASB standards. As a government organization, they have to use certain methods for their accounting that meet the standards developed and issued by the GASB. This includes how they report their finances, how they interpret their financial results, and what kind of accounting methodology they use. They must follow GASB’s guidelines for disclosing information about infrastructure assets (like water and sewer systems) in their financial reports.2. State Education Department: The education department within a state government also has to follow the GASB standards. For example, when the department manages financial resources dedicated to public schools, it must do so using the accounting principles outlined by the GASB. This also applies to how they account for pensions for their employees and how they issue financial statements.3. City Transit Authority: A city’s transit authority, which could be responsible for running services such as buses, trams, metros, etc., must follow the guidelines laid out by the GASB. They need to keep track of their income, expenditures, assets, and liabilities in a certain way to be in compliance with GASB standards. For instance, when they are accounting for capital assets (like buses or metro carriages) or long-term liabilities, they must use the specific financial reporting models outlined by the GASB.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB)?

The Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is an independent, private sector, non-profit organization that establishes and improves standards of financial accounting and reporting for U.S. state and local governments.

Who oversees the operations of GASB?

The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) oversees and supports the operations of the GASB.

What is the function of GASB?

Its main function is to issue accounting standards for state and local governmental entities in the United States.

How does GASB help in maintaining transparency in the financial system?

By setting and improving the financial reporting standards, GASB helps in providing information to the public, bond analysts, and other stakeholders that leads to transparency in governmental financial systems.

Does GASB set standards for federal government?

No, GASB doesn’t set standards for federal government. The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) is responsible for setting accounting standards for the federal government.

How does GASB work in relevance to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)?

GASB’s recommendations often form the basis for the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) applied to governmental entities.

Are GASB standards mandatory for state and local governments?

While GASB provides the accounting and financial reporting standards, it doesn’t have the authority to enforce compliance. However, the governments that issue municipal bonds are typically required to adhere to GASB standards.

How often does GASB issue new standards?

There’s no set frequency for GASB to release new standards. They issue them as needed, based on regular review of current practices and emerging issues.

Who can influence GASB standards?

Although GASB ultimately decides what standards are issued, stakeholders, including the public, can influence GASB standards through participation in comment periods on proposed standards.

: How can I access GASB statements and publications?

: GASB statements, publications, and exposure drafts are available to the public through the GASB’s website.

Related Finance Terms

  • Financial Reporting.
  • GASB Statement No. 34.
  • Governmental accounting and financial reporting standards.
  • GASB Comprehensive Implementation Guide.
  • Governmental Accounting Standards Series.

Sources for More Information

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More