December 2001: Budgetary Comparison Information (4th in a series of GASB Statement 34 bulletins)

Issued To: County, City, Town and Village Chief Fiscal Officers School District and BOCES Business Officials

Purpose of Bulletin

The purpose of this bulletin is to explain the new GAAP reporting requirements for budgetary comparison information and the effects these reporting requirements will have on the Annual Update Document (AUD) filed by municipalities and the ST3 filed by school districts.

GAAP Reporting Requirements

Before GASB Statement No.34,GAAP required that budgetary comparison information be included as a basic financial statement in the general-purpose financial statements. With the implementation GASB Statement No. 34, GAAP permits the reporting of this information as either a statement in the basic financial statements or as a schedule in RSI (Required Supplementary Information). If you are implementing GASB Statement No. 34 you should discuss this reporting option with your auditor.

The budgetary comparison must be presented for the general fund and each major special revenue fund (our October 2001 bulletin defines the term "major fund") that has a legally adopted budget. The three key components of the presentation are:

  1. Original budget appropriations and estimated revenues as approved in the first complete appropriated budget (generally the one passed prior to the start of the fiscal year).
  2. Final budget appropriations and estimated revenues per the final amended version of the appropriated budget at the end of the fiscal period.
  3. Actual expenditures and revenues calculated using the same basis of accounting used for budgeting.

Reporting Budgetary Comparison Information To OSC

The AUD (Annual Update Document) prepared by County, City, Town and Village chief fiscal officers already collects all of the budgetary information referred to above for the general fund and selected special revenue funds (highway, water, sewer). This reporting requirement was instituted by OSC because we believe that the additional information (the original budget) is extremely helpful to the reader of the financial statements for analyzing a local government's compliance in obtaining and using financial resources in accordance with its legally adopted budget. This comparative information (especially the changes from the original budget to the final budget) provides information that local officials may use as they prepare upcoming budgets.

Therefore, since OSC is already collecting the budgetary information required by GASB Statement No. 34, no additional changes for budgetary reporting in the AUD will be required.

The ST3 prepared by school districts currently collects only the modified budget and actual revenues and expenditures information. Original budget information will also be collected in next year's ST3. We believe the addition of original budget information will be helpful to school district officials for the same reasons mentioned above.

Additional Information

Detailed information pertaining to the statement, as well as an implementation guide, is available from GASB. The GASB web site, with links to many other pertinent sites, can be accessed at

GASB can also be contacted at:
401 Merritt 7, P.O. Box 5116
Norwalk, CT 06856