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New Guidelines for Service Efforts and Accomplishments Reporting in the United States

Judith A. Sage, Lloyd G. Sage

Abstract

In the United States the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) on June 30, 2009, issued proposed guidelines for service efforts and accomplishments (SEA) performance reporting for state and local governments. This paper discusses GASBs proposed voluntary guidelines along with some recommendations for further improvement of SEA performance reporting. The proposed guidelines involve three elements (essential components, qualitative characteristics, and communication of SEA information). The proposal identifies four essential components for an effective SEA report (purpose and scope, major goals and objectives, key measures of SEA performance, and discussion and analysis of results and challenges). Also, the GASB proposal discusses six qualitative characteristics to be considered in developing SEA performance information (relevance, understandability, comparability, timeliness, consistency, and reliability). This proposal should increase the transparency of the SEA performance data presented to the constituents and other governmental users.

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