A CPA Looks at Governmental Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting
by FRED M. OLIVER Partner, Salt Lake City Office
Presented before the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants Local Government Auditing and Accounting Conference, Harrisburg—October 1970
FOR THE FIRST TIME in the history of the American Institute of Certi-fied Public Accountants, an official look is now being taken at the important field of governmental accounting, auditing, and financial reporting.
The result of its studies will take the form of an Audit Guide, currently being prepared by the AICPA Committee on Governmental Accounting
and Auditing. The Institute, with its preoccupation with accounting
for business enterprises, has left the development of accounting principles in the field of government to the National Committee on Governmental
Accounting (NCGA). The latter was originally formed in 1934 as the National Committee on Municipal Accounting and in 1949 changed its name to its present title.
AUTHORITATIVE LITERATURE IN GOVERNMENTAL ACCOUNTING
The vacuum surrounding the development of accounting principles in the field of government by the AICPA has existed until very recently in the entire field of nonprofit organizations. To date, the published literature
in the field of accounting principles, including fifty-one accounting
research bulletins, four accounting terminology bulletins, and seventeen
opinions of the Accounting Principles Board are all specifically addressed
to the field of business enterprises and were at their respective dates of issue not intended to apply to nonprofit organizations generally, including government. The introduction to Bulletin 43 of the Committee on Accounting Procedure stated: ". . . Accordingly, except where there is a specific statement of a different intent by the committee, its opinions and recommendations are directed primarily to business enterprises organized
Historically, no effort has been made by the Institute to catalog or
1Accounting Research Bulletin, Introduction—Applicability of Committee Opinions.