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The GAAP acronym on a spreadsheet

Throughout the year the Commonwealth of Massachusetts accounts for its financial operations on the statutory basis of accounting, often referred to as the “budgetary basis”. The Commonwealth’s budget and the statutory basis financial statements follow the accounting principles defined by Massachusetts law.

For its Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR), the Commonwealth reports on the basis of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as defined for governments by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. These instructions assist departments in preparing the GAAP departmental information included in the Annual Report. 

Three sets of GAAP Instructions are provided: one for most Commonwealth of Massachusetts departments, one specific to Institutes of Higher Education, and one for Component Units. 

For the Fiscal Year 2024 financial reporting cycle, all GAAP information has a uniform due date of Friday, August 16, 2024. 

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Wdesk Guide & Help

A guide for departments to gain access to, and use Wdesk to submit GAAP information

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Wdesk Video Guide

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General GAAP Instructions

These instructions apply to all departments except Institutes of Higher Education and Component Units on ACFR reporting year-end activity and obligations to the Office of the Comptroller (CTR).

GAAP Instructions for Departments

Guidance to departments on reporting year-end activity and obligations to the Office of the Comptroller.

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GAAP Decentralized Instructions Supplement

This Decentralized Departments’ Supplement (Supplement) to the FY2024 GAAP Instructions (GAAP Instructions), has been specially prepared to assist multi-facility departments which handle their day-to-day accounting operations and compile their GAAP reporting at the facility level using MMARS organization codes and/or HR/CMS agency codes.

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Institutes of Higher Education Guidance

This guide complements the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement 35 Implementation Guide which is documented in various other policies and procedures. This guide relates to the Commonwealth’s preparation of its Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for FY2023.

Institutes of Higher Education Guidance

The purpose of this memo is to advise the Institutions of Higher Education as to accounting and reporting guidance for FY2023.

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Attachment A: Independence Letter

The audited financial statements for all institutions must be transmitted to CTR with this attachment.

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Attachment B: Draft Reconciliation of Financial Statements to MMARS

Use this sheet to define where revenues and expenditures are recorded.

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Attachment C: Higher Education Wdesk Guide

Complete and submit HE-2 and HE-4 worksheets

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Attachment HE-1: Contact Survey

List the contact information for key contacts at your institution using this spreadsheet.

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Wdesk Reporting Guide and Help
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Wdesk Video Guide

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Component Unit Guidance

These instructions apply to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the Massachusetts School Building Authority, and the Teachers Retirement Board. Updated for FY2022.

Component Unit Guidance

This document provides guidance for the preparation and submission of component unit and related organization financial statements/templates, attachments, and other supplemental information.

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CTR Policies pertaining to GAAP Reporting

Accounting and Management

All assets, regardless if they are fixed or not, must be accounted for, managed, and reported in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations of the Commonwealth.

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Capital Assets Acquisition

All acquisitions of fixed assets must be recorded in accordance with existing laws and policies of the Commonwealth.

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Impairment of Capital or Other Assets and Insurance Recoveries

The Commonwealth is required to evaluate prominent events or changes in circumstances affecting fixed or other assets, such as cash, to determine whether impairment has occurred..

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Related Content

Annual Comprehensive Financial Report

View the Annual Comprehensive Financial Reports for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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GASB Pronouncements

Read pronouncements from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

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