Journal Entries

This recurring website feature highlights articles from The GASB Report, the GASB’s monthly newsletter. The current article appeared in the February 2012 issue.

GASB Performance Measures: Technical Inquiry Activities

Each year, the GASB staff spends a significant amount of time responding to questions (technical inquiries) from its constituents about GASB standards. This effort is an important function of the GASB in fulfilling its mission. The following performance measures assess a part of the mission and the GASB’s strategic plan objective to “guide and educate constituents about the content and value of the GASB’s reporting requirements and proposed standards.”

Time Required to Complete Inquiries

GASB response times to complete technical inquiries submitted to the GASB in 2011 exceeded goals for responses in the less than one- , two- , and three-week categories, as indicated in the table below, and showed improvement over 2010 figures. The goal of completing all technical inquiries in less than four weeks was nearly met, with just a single inquiry requiring four or more weeks to complete. Inquiries can take four weeks or more to complete for a number of reasons. More complex inquiries, for example, sometimes lead to an extended dialogue between the inquirer and the GASB staff to obtain or clarify specific facts or circumstances and may therefore take longer to resolve.

Technical Inquiries in 2011

Technical
Inquiries Closed

Within


Number of
Inquiries

2011
Cumulative
Percentage

2010
Cumulative
Percentage


GASB
Goals

 

 

 

 

 

0–6 days

       1,653

  93.8%

  84.0%

  80.0%

7–13 days

           97

  99.3%

  95.5%

  90.0%

14–20 days

           11

  99.9%

  98.1%

  95.0%

21–27 days

             1

  99.9%

  99.1%

100.0%

28+ days

             1

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

       1,763

 

 

 

Time Until First Contact Is Made with the Inquirer

Although it may take longer to provide a final answer to an inquirer, the staff actually responds within days of receiving an inquiry in order to acknowledge receipt of the inquiry and to gather additional information. The GASB’s goal is to make initial contact with all inquirers within one week. During 2011, contact was made within a day for more than 70 percent of the inquiries. Contact was made within 7 days in nearly 96 percent of the inquiries received. The GASB marked significant progress in its response time in 2011 and is striving to improve further still in 2012.

Technical Inquiries in 2011

First Contact with Inquirer Made Within


Number of Inquiries

  2011
Cumulative Percentage

  2010
Cumulative
Percentage

 
GASB Goals

 

 

 

 

 

1 day

         1,255

  71.2%

  65.1%

60.0%

2–6 days

            398

  93.8%

  90.2%

90.0%

7 days

              35

  95.7%

  92.7%

100.0%

8+ days

              75

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

          1,763

 

 

 

Inquirer Satisfaction with Understandability, Helpfulness, and Promptness

Constituent satisfaction with the GASB’s technical inquiry activities in 2011 substantially exceeded the GASB’s goals in each category and showed improvement over 2010 figures. Overall satisfaction reached nearly 99 percent. This critical measure increased by more than 4 percent over the 2010 overall satisfaction level. The GASB is endeavoring to maintain and improve upon this level of overall inquirer satisfaction in 2012.

Technical Inquiries in 2011

 

Measure


Total
2011


GASB
Goals


Total

2010

 

 

 

 

Answers to technical inquiries
  were understandable or
  very easy to understand

 

98.9%

  

90.0%

  

95.6%

 

 

 

 

Person responding to technical
  inquiry was helpful or
  very helpful

  

98.9%

 

90.0%

 

97.8%

 

 

 

 

Person making technical inquiry
  was satisfied or very satisfied
  with promptness of response

 

98.3%

 

90.0%

 

96.7%

 

 

 

 

Overall, person making technical
  inquiry was satisfied or very
  satisfied with the experience

 

98.9%

 

90.0%

 

94.5%

How to Submit a Technical Inquiry

The answers to many general questions (for example, status of a current GASB project or effective date of a Statement) can be found on the GASB’s website, www.gasb.org, or by contacting staff members via email.

Inquirers with questions that include requests for interpretation of accounting standards are encouraged to use the GASB’s web-based technical inquiry system at www.gasb.org. The system can be accessed by clicking the Technical Inquiry System menu item under the Technical Issues tab on the GASB website.