GASB Finalizes Irrevocable Split-Interest Agreements Guidance
In late March 2016, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued Statement No. 81, Irrevocable Split-Interest Agreements, standardizing accounting and financial reporting for split-interest agreements. At inception, a government receiving resources from an irrevocable split-interest would recognize an asset, a liability and a deferred inflow of resources. The guidance also covers certain irrevocable split-interest agreements administered by a third party. Public higher education institutions and health systems likely will be most affected by these amendments. Entities may see a change in timing of revenues, since the new standard requires recognition when the resources become applicable to the reporting period. In some cases, this may be much later than current practice. The standard would be effective for periods beginning after December 15, 2016, with early adoption encouraged.