Conceptual Framework—Disclosure Framework
Minutes of Meetings, January 29–31, 2019
The Board discussed information that generally is not appropriate for note disclosures. The Board tentatively decided that existing descriptions of information that should not be included in note disclosures should be retained. As described in paragraph 37 of Concept Statement 3, Communication Methods in General Purpose External Financial Reports That Contain Basic Financial Statements, these include subjective assessments of the effects of reported information on the reporting unit’s future financial position or predictions about the effects of future events on future financial position.
In addition, the Board tentatively decided to propose that information that should not be included in notes be clarified so that expectations and assumptions about the future that are inputs to current measures in the financial statements or note disclosures are not excluded from the note disclosures.
Finally, the Board tentatively decided to propose that general information that is specific to the government and is easily obtainable from other sources not be included as information that is inappropriate for note disclosures, whereas general or educational information that is not specific to the government should be included as information that is inappropriate for note disclosures.
Minutes of Meetings, December 17–19, 2018
The Board discussed the purpose of note disclosures and tentatively decided that their purpose is to provide information that is essential to users that explains, describes, or supplements the financial statements in order to assist users in making economic, social, and political decisions and assessing accountability. The Board also tentatively decided that the types of information provided by the notes include:
- Descriptions of the accounting and finance-related policies underlying amounts recognized in financial statements
- More detail about or explanations of amounts recognized in financial statements
- Additional information about financial position or inflows and outflows of resources that does not meet the criteria for recognition
- Other finance-related information associated with the accountability of the government.
The Board initiated deliberations by affirming that notes to financial statements meet (or help meet) all of the objectives of financial reporting described in Concepts Statement No. 1, Objectives of Financial Reporting, and that the users of note disclosures are responsible for obtaining a reasonable understanding of governmental financial reporting as described in Concepts Statement No. 3, Communication Methods in General Purpose External Financial Reports That Contain Basic Financial Statements. The Board also tentatively decided that the scope of the project should focus on developing concepts that expand or elaborate on the portion of Concepts Statement 3 that relates to the notes to financial statements.
The Board tentatively decided that the following should be included in the scope of the project:
- The purpose of note disclosures
- The limitations of note disclosures
- The characteristics of essentiality
- The presentation and format of note disclosures, including the location of the information within the note disclosures section
- The consideration of note disclosures individually and as a whole
- The level of detail for note disclosures.
Minutes of Meetings, October 2–4, 2018
In an educational session, the Board discussed disclosure frameworks of other standards setters and GASB concepts related to note disclosures. No deliberations were conducted, and no decisions were reached.