Concepts Statements Concepts Statement No. 2
The following text is adapted from Concepts Statement No. 2: Service Efforts and Accomplishments Reporting, Governmental Accounting Standards Board.
This Concepts Statement develops the objective of service efforts and accomplishments (SEA) reporting and identifies its elements and characteristics. The Statement provides background information on the governmental environment, governmental decision making, accountability, and the reporting of performance information as part of general purpose external financial reporting (GPEFR) and calls for further extensive experimentation in measuring and reporting SEA before the GASB considers establishing SEA reporting guidance.
SEA Information as Part of GPEFR for State and Local Governmental Entities
General purpose external financial reporting (GPEFR) focuses on providing information to meet the needs of financial report users. This information may be provided in the general purpose financial statements, the comprehensive annual financial report, or other, separate reports. An objective of GPEFR is to provide users with information that will assist them in assessing the performance of the reporting entity. Because the primary purpose of governmental entities is to maintain or improve the well-being of their citizens, information that will assist users in assessing how efficiently and effectively governmental entities are using resources to maintain or improve the well-being of their citizens should play an important role in GPEFR.
The SEA reporting objective as originally stated in GASB Concepts Statement No. 1, Objectives of Financial Reporting, is based on the Board's belief that SEA information is necessary for assessing accountability and in making informed decisions; therefore, to be more complete, GPEFR for governmental entities needs to include SEA information. This information most likely will be reported in a report separate from the comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The assessment of a governmental entity's performance requires information not only about the acquisition and use of resources, but also about the outputs and outcomes of the services provided and the relationship between the use of resources and their outputs and outcomes. By focusing on a variety of financial and nonfinancial measures of inputs, outputs and outcomes, and measures that relate efforts to accomplishments, SEA reporting will assist users of GPEFR to more fully assess governmental performance.
Objective, Elements, and Characteristics of SEA Reporting
The objective of SEA reporting is to provide more complete information about a governmental entity's performance than can be provided by the traditional financial statements and schedules to assist users in assessing the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of services provided. The elements of SEA reporting include (a) categories of SEA of service accomplishments (output and outcome indicators), and measures that relate service efforts to service accomplishments (efficiency and cost-outcome indicators) and (b) explanatory information.
To promote achievement of the objective of SEA reporting, SEA performance information should focus primarily on measures of service accomplishments (outputs and outcomes) and measures of the relationships between service efforts and service accomplishments (efficiency); SEA performance information also should meet the characteristics of relevance, understandability, comparability, timeliness, consistency, and reliability. This Statement also discusses limitations of SEA performance measurement and reporting and how to enhance the usefulness of SEA performance information.