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Financial Accounting & Reporting Basis

About this Policy

Financial Accounting & Reporting Basis

Policy Number: 21103

Effective Date:
Dec 12, 2017

Last Updated:

Responsible Office:
UM System Controller's Office

Responsible Administrator:
UM System Controller

Policy Contact:

UM System Controller's Office


  • Finance

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This policy defines the regulatory requirements for financial accounting & reporting basis as defined by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

Reason for Policy

The policy establishes the accounting and reporting basis for the University financial statements.

Policy Statement

Accounting Basis: The University uses the accrual basis of accounting in accordance with GASB. Revenues are recorded when earned and expenses are recorded when incurred and measurable, regardless of when the related cash flows take place. Non-Exchange Transactions, in which the University receives value without directly giving equal value in Exchange, include grants, state appropriations, and private donations. On an accrual basis, revenues from these transactions are recognized in the fiscal year in which all eligibility requirements (resource provider conditions) have been satisfied, if measurable and probable of collection.

Reporting Basis: The University's financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles applicable to governmental colleges and universities as promulgated by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). Component units follow pronouncements as appropriate for their type of entity, and their financial statements are presented on that basis.

In accordance with GASB Statement No. 34, Basic Financial Statements—and Management’s Discussion and Analysis—for State and Local Governments (GASB 34), the University has elected to report as an entity engaged in business-type activities. Entities engaged in business-type activities are financed in whole or in part by fees charged to external parties for goods and services.

GASB 34 establishes standards for external financial reporting for public colleges and universities and requires that resources be classified for accounting and reporting purposes into the following net position categories:

  • Invested in capital assets, net of related debt: Capital assets, net of accumulated depreciation and long-term debt attributable to the acquisition, construction, or improvement of these assets.
  • Restricted: Those net positions, either expendable or nonexpendable, subject to donor-imposed restrictions stipulating how the resources may be used. Expendable net positions are those that can be satisfied by actions of the University. Nonexpendable net positions, consisting of endowments, must be maintained in perpetuity.
  • Unrestricted: Those net positions that are not classified either as capital assets, net of related debt or restricted net positions. Unrestricted net positions may be designated for specific purposes by management.

When an expense is incurred that can be paid using either restricted or unrestricted resources, the University’s policy is first to apply the expense toward restricted resources, then toward unrestricted. Restricted funds remain classified as such until restrictions have been satisfied.


Exchange Transaction - each party receives and sacrifices something of approximate equal value.

Non-Exchange Transaction - one party gives (or receives) something without directly receiving (or giving) something of equal value in return.


UM System Controller’s Office:

  • Ensure Financial Reporting Systems are established and maintained to comply with regulatory requirements.

Additional Details


Related Information



This policy combines the following former policies:

  • Accounting Policy Manual 1.02 – Financial Accounting Standards (FASB) (revised 1/1/2005)
  • Accounting Policy Manual 1.03 – Government Accounting Standards (GASB) (revised 1/1/2005)


Reviewed 2017-12-06