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Definition of the Local Government Financial Reporting Entity
DEFINITION OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL REPORTING ENTITY
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued Statement No. 14, "The Financial Reporting Entity", in June 1991. This Michigan statement is provided to define the financial reporting entity of local units of government in Michigan by applying the provisions of GASB Statement No. 14.
GASB Statement No. 14 states that the financial reporting entity consists of (a) the primary government; (b) organizations for which the primary government is financially accountable; and (c) other organizations for which the nature and significance of their relationship with the primary government are such that exclusion would cause the reporting entity's financial statements to be misleading or incomplete.
A primary government is defined in GASB Statement No. 14 as:
1. A state government or a general purpose local government (municipality or county);
2. A special purpose government which meets all of the following criteria:
a. It has a separately elected governing body;
b. It is legally separate--It has corporate powers to have a name, the right to sue and be sued and the right to buy, sell, lease and mortgage property in its own name; and
c. It is fiscally independent of other state and local governments--It must have substantive authority to do all three of the following:
i. Determine its own budget without another government's having the
authority to approve and modify that budget;
As defined in GASB Statement No. 14, component units are legally separate organizations for which the elected officials of the primary government are financially accountable. They may be a governmental organization (except those that meet the definition of a primary government), a nonprofit corporation, or a for-profit corporation.
A primary government is financially accountable if:
1. The primary government appoints a voting majority of the organization's governing body; and
2. The primary government:
a. Is able to impose its will on that organization--The existence of any ONE of the following conditions clearly indicates the ability to impose its will:
ii. Ability to modify or approve the budget;
iii. Ability to modify or approve rate or fee charges;
iv. Ability to veto, overrule, or modify board's decisions;
v. Ability to appoint, hire, reassign, or dismiss management; or
ii. Is legally obligated or has assumed the obligation to finance deficits or provide financial support to the organization; or
iii. Is obligated in some manner for the debt of the organization.
The reporting entity's notes to the financial statements should:
1. Include a brief description of the component units and their relationship to the primary government;
2. Include a discussion of the criteria for including the component units and how they are reported;
3. Include information about how the separate financial statements for the individual component units may be obtained; and
4. Distinguish between information pertaining to the primary government and that of its discretely presented component units.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH ORGANIZATIONS OTHER THAN COMPONENT UNITS
Primary government officials may appoint some, or all, governing board members of organizations that are not included as component units. These organizations are:
1. Related organizations--The primary government is accountable because they appoint a voting majority of the board, but is not financially accountable.
b. The notes of the related organization should disclose the primary government that is accountable for it and describe its relationship; and
c. Other information required by Codification Section 2300.105f.
a. A legal entity or other organization that results from a contractual arrangement and that is owned, operated or governed by two or more participants as a separate and specific activity subject to joint control. The participants retain:
ii. Ongoing financial responsibility.
b. Equity Interest:
ii. Governmental Fund--Report all or a portion of the equity interest in the GFAAG. Part of the equity interest may be in a governmental fund as an amount payable to, or receivable from the joint venture. The combination of the two amounts will be the total equity interest.
c. Note Disclosures:
i. A description of the ongoing financial interest and ongoing financial
4. Component units and related organizations with joint venture characteristics are organizations with several participants with one which appoints a voting majority. The organization is either a component unit or a related organization of the majority government and should be reported as such in that unit. The other (minority) units should report their participation as a joint venture or a jointly governed organization.
This statement applies to local units of government financial statements for periods ending on and after December 31, 1993.
DETERMINING THE FINANCIAL REPORTING ENTITY FOR LOCAL UNITS OF GOVERNMENT IN MICHIGAN
This section analyzes certain agencies, boards, commissions, authorities and other governmental organizations that operate in Michigan with respect to the provisions of GASB Statement No. 14. A conclusion as to whether or not the agency should be included in the local government financial report.
The entities analyzed in this section do not include all possible government agencies that exist in Michigan.
CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING THE FINANCIAL REPORTING ENTITY
If the answers for items (1), (2) and (3) are all yes, a potential component unit is probably a primary government. However, yes answers to items (4) and (5) or (6) would indicate that the potential component unit is a component unit of the primary government. Further, exclusion of an organization may cause the financial statements to be misleading or incomplete. If so, the answer to item (7) would be yes and the potential component unit should be included.
FINANCIAL REPORTING DECISION MATRIX
Joint operations would be included (discrete presentation) in the financial statements of the local government in which the monies are deposited with the treasurer and would be disclosed in the notes to the financial statements of the other member units. The notes in all participating units must include a description of the ongoing financial interest and ongoing financial responsibility and information about the availability of separate financial statements. This disclosure must also include information to allow the reader to evaluate whether the organization is accumulating significant financial resources or is experiencing fiscal stress that may cause an additional financial benefit to or burden on the participating government in the future. Also, other information as required by GASB Codification Section 2300.105f, related party transactions.
A joint operation which has its own treasurer will be reported in the notes to the financial statements in all participating units as described in the previous paragraph.
The Michigan Department of Treasury recommends that this governmental organization be included in the financial statements of the primary government. However, if the primary government does not include the organization in its financial statements, the following note disclosures are required:
1. The reason for not including the organization in the primary government's financial statements.
2. The nature and function or purpose of the organization.
3. Condensed or summary financial information, including:
a. Most recent financial statement date;
b. Assets, liabilities and equity; and
c. Total revenues, expenditures/expenses, other financing sources (uses), and net increase (decrease) in fund balance/retained earnings.
The summary information may be either audited or unaudited information. In the latter instance, the information should be labeled as "unaudited financial information."
This organization is a related organization and should be disclosed in the local unit's notes to the financial statements as discussed in the narrative of this statement.
Under MCGAA Statement No. 2, a local unit's building authority's financial statements are to be consolidated with the local unit's financial statements. A separate financial report on the building authority is typically prepared in an enterprise fund format. Upon consolidation, the accounts of the authority would be "blended" with the general fund, debt service fund, capital project fund, long-term debt account group and general fixed assets account group of the local unit. In the case of a building authority for an enterprise fund, such as a hospital, the building authority would be reported within the enterprise fund. Joint building authorities should be accounted for and reported in accordance with the requirements for a joint venture.
Current accounting procedures do not provide for the deposit of district court bonds and other court trust money with the local unit treasurer. These accounts are maintained by local unit court personnel in their official capacity as local unit court employees and the accounts should be reflected in the local unit financial statements as an agency fund of the local unit.
Township library board directors are township officers (AGO 5182, 1977)Moneys received shall be deposited in the local unit treasury to the credit of the library fund. (MCL 397.205)
The tax shall be levied and collected in the same manner as other general taxes of the township or village. (MCL 397.210)
Other organizations should be evaluated as potential component units if they are closely related to the primary government. A component unit may be a governmental organization, a nonprofit corporation or a for-profit corporation.
These are funds of the local unit and are to be reported in the appropriate fund type on the combined financial statements. Statutory references are:
123.51 et al.
This statement was adopted by Douglas B. Roberts, State Treasurer, State of Michigan, following submission to the members of the Michigan Committee on Government Accounting and Auditing.
Walter M. Wisniewski, Chairperson
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