A Strategic Guide For Business Owners On Its Far-Reaching Impact

September 30, 2023
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

The intricacies of accounting and financial reporting can often feel overwhelming, especially when new standards emerge that require business owners to adapt and evolve. One such standard that has come to the forefront is GASB96. If you’re a business owner staring down the lens of this new mandate, breathe easy. This article aims to break down GASB96 in an understandable format, ensuring you’re well-prepared to tackle its requirements.

Understanding GASB96

To start with, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 96 pertains to subscription-based information technology arrangements (SBITAs). These arrangements have become increasingly prevalent as businesses gravitate toward cloud-based services and software solutions, away from traditional purchase and licensing models.

Simply put, GASB96 provides guidance on how to recognize and measure SBITAs, ultimately determining when they should be reported on the balance sheet. It’s a move toward greater transparency and a standardized approach to recognizing these IT expenses.

The Implications for Business Owners

You might wonder why this matters to you. Here’s the crux: the way you handle and report these SBITAs can have direct financial implications for your business. Proper adherence ensures compliance, whereas ignorance or mismanagement can lead to potentially costly discrepancies and a tarnished financial record.

Key Takeaways:

  • GASB96 is all about standardizing the reporting of subscription-based IT arrangements.
  • It aims to provide clarity in a complex digital age where IT spending has shifted towards 

cloud solutions.

  • Adherence is not just recommended, it’s mandated, and failing to adapt can be costly.

Steps to Efficiently Incorporate GASB96

Assessment: Begin with an exhaustive assessment of your current IT subscriptions. You need a comprehensive understanding of where your funds are allocated before aligning with GASB96.

Consultation: If you’re unsure about any aspect, don’t hesitate to consult with a financial expert or accountant familiar with GASB standards. They can provide clarity and assist in making necessary adjustments.

Implementation: Modify your accounting processes to align with the requirements. This could involve changes in your reporting systems or the introduction of new tools to aid in tracking SBITAs.

Regular Reviews: Just as with any financial mandate, regular reviews are essential. Ensure your approach to SBITAs remains compliant and adjust as necessary when new subscriptions or technologies are introduced.

Aiding Compliance: The Role of Modern Tools

In today’s digital age, there are a plethora of tools designed to help businesses adhere to financial standards like GASB96. Leveraging the right software can simplify the process of tracking and reporting SBITAs.

Recommended Tools for GASB96 Compliance

Tool Name

Key Features

Price Range

ComplianceAid

Real-time tracking, Cloud-based

$$$

GASBTracker

Custom reports, User-friendly

$$

ReportGenie

Advanced analytics, Scalable

$$$

SafeGuard

Data security, Regular updates

$

Final Thoughts

While GASB96 might initially seem daunting, it represents an essential step in the evolution of financial reporting in our increasingly digital world. Embrace it as an opportunity to streamline your IT subscriptions and ensure your business’s financial health is transparent and up-to-date. With careful planning and the right tools, your first encounter with GASB96 can be a smooth one.

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