Summary of Statement No. 48

Statement No. 48
Sales and Pledges of Receivables and Future Revenues and Intra-Entity Transfers of Assets and Future Revenues
(Issued 09/06)

Governments sometimes exchange an interest in their expected cash flows from collecting specific receivables or specific future revenues for immediate cash payments—generally, a single lump sum. The financial reporting question addressed by this Statement is whether that transaction should be regarded as a sale or as a collateralized borrowing resulting in a liability. Historically, guidance for reporting the effects of those transactions in governmental financial statements either has been provided in several standards or, in certain cases, was not specifically addressed in authoritative literature. In addition, little or no information about pledged revenues was being disclosed in the notes to the financial statements. As a result, there has been considerable diversity in the manner in which these transactions and information about them have been reported.

This Statement establishes criteria that governments will use to ascertain whether the proceeds received should be reported as revenue or as a liability. The criteria should be used to determine the extent to which a transferor government either retains or relinquishes control over the receivables or future revenues through its continuing involvement with those receivables or future revenues. This Statement establishes that a transaction will be reported as a collateralized borrowing unless the criteria indicating that a sale has taken place are met. If it is determined that a transaction involving receivables should be reported as a sale, the difference between the carrying value of the receivables and the proceeds should be recognized in the period of the sale in the change statements. If it is determined that a transaction involving future revenues should be reported as a sale, the revenue should be deferred and amortized, except when specific criteria are met. This Statement also provides additional guidance for sales of receivables and future revenues within the same financial reporting entity.

This Statement includes a provision that stipulates that governments should not revalue assets that are transferred between financial reporting entity components. Therefore, any assets (or future revenues) sold or donated within the same financial reporting entity should continue to be reported at their current carrying value when those assets or future revenues are transferred.

This Statement also includes guidance to be used for recognizing other assets and liabilities arising from a sale of specific receivables or future revenues, including residual interests and recourse provisions. The disclosures pertaining to future revenues that have been pledged or sold are intended to provide financial statement users with information about which revenues will be unavailable for other purposes and how long they will continue to be so. The requirements of this Statement are effective for financial statements for periods beginning after December 15, 2006.

How the Changes in This Statement Improve Financial Reporting

The requirements in this Statement improve financial reporting by establishing consistent measurement, recognition, and disclosure requirements that apply to both governmental and business-type activities. Those requirements alleviate the confusion that arises when there are multiple sources from which generally accepted accounting principles requirements may derive. Deferral requirements that are applicable to sales of future revenues are provided to contribute to the measurement and reporting of interperiod equity in accordance with the objectives set forth in Concepts Statement No. 1, Objectives of Financial Reporting. Specific provisions that address the effects of intra-entity transactions are provided so that governments retain consistent values for assets transferred between components of the same financial reporting entity. This Statement also improves the usefulness of financial reporting by requiring that specific relevant disclosures be made to inform financial statement users about the unavailability of future revenues that have been pledged or sold.

Unless otherwise specified, pronouncements of the GASB apply to financial reports of all state and local governmental entities, including general purpose governments; public benefit corporations and authorities; public employee retirement systems; and public utilities, hospitals and other healthcare providers, and colleges and universities. Paragraph 3 discusses the applicability of this Statement.