January 23, 2023   //   Audit Podcast   //   By PKF Mueller Solutions


Join PKF Mueller Partner, Kevin Bissell, as he discusses accounting in the governmental industry.  In this episode, he describes trends and challenges governmental entities are facing and PKF Mueller’s involvement in the governmental industry.

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For more information, please contact:

Kevin J. Bissell, CPA
Audit Partner

Episode Transcript:

[00:00:00] Ashley: Hi, I’m Ashley, and you’re listening to “The Business Owner’s Guide Podcast:, Tips Trends and Talks From a CPA.” Today we welcome PKF Mueller Partner, Kevin Bissell for a discussion on accounting in the governmental industry. But before we begin, let’s find out more about our guest.

[00:00:18] Ashley: Kevin is a Partner in the firm’s audit department and is a leader in the firm’s governmental niche and has over 20 years of experience working with municipalities, school districts, fire districts, and other special purpose governmental units. Kevin specializes in accounting, audit engagements, tax planning, consulting and business advisory services and firm quality control.

[00:00:43] Ashley: So first off, Kevin, I wanna thank you for being here today. And with that, can you start off by giving us a high level overview of the firm’s experience providing services in the governmental industry?

[00:00:52] Kevin: Sure. PKF, Mueller has been providing services to the governmental industry for over 30 years. We’ve worked with many different types of entities, as you mentioned.

[00:01:01] Kevin: This includes municipalities, school districts, fire districts, library districts, and other special purpose entities. And we’ve performed, audits, single audits, compliance audits, and other projects as the need arises and have assisted with financial statement preparation for these entities.

[00:01:19] Ashley: What would governmental entities look for when choosing a service provider?

[00:01:23] Kevin: Uh, these entities should look for a company that has, significant experience in the area and the resources to perform high quality engagements. Guidelines and requirements are constantly changing and expanding. And we’re able to effectively assist our clients because of the experience that we bring and the resources that we have access to.

[00:01:42] Kevin: Many of our clients have received awards over the years for their financial statement presentation, and this is a great achievement for them, but it’s also an indication of the quality of services that we provide.

[00:01:51] Ashley: What are some current trends you are seeing within the governmental industry?

[00:01:55] Kevin: Many entities have received significant new types of funding as they help the residents recover from COVID. This funding has come in the form of several new grants that are part of a larger federal program, and the funding was made available to municipalities, schools, and other types of governments.

[00:02:11] Kevin: Governmental entities also have to deal with new guidelines and pronouncements that they are subject to, for example, GASB 87 is a pronouncement that governments have had to or will have to implement in the near future. It deals with how leases are reflected on the financial statements of these entities, and we’re able to assist our clients with questions or issues that arise from the implementation of these pronouncements.

[00:02:35] Ashley: As a follow up question, what are some issues, concerns, or challenges governmental entities are facing?

[00:02:41] Kevin: The new grant funding has been helpful for these entities, but there are some new challenges that relate to the funding. There are often new reporting requirements that these entities may not have had to deal with before. We are seeing many entities that are now required to have single audit. That weren’t subject to them for quite a few years or ever, and it’s a challenge for them to make sure that they’re fulfilling all of the requirements that come along with the funding.

[00:03:04] Ashley: Can you share a real life experience or case study of how you’ve worked with a client in the governmental arena?

[00:03:09] Kevin: Sure. We’ve recently worked with a municipality that received the new grant funding that I mentioned. The entity had to make sure that they understood all of the requirements and regulations related to this funding so that they used the funding appropriately and reported it correctly.

[00:03:24] Kevin: The guidelines have changed over time and we were able to answer some of the questions that they had along the way. At year end we completed the single audit that they were now required to have at the same time that we completed the annual audit. The municipality hadn’t been subject to a single audit for several years, and we were able to work through the process with them to complete the audit and allow them to fulfill their obligations.

[00:03:48] Kevin: Another real life example, where we’ve helped a client relates to the new GASB pronouncements that I mentioned, and specifically GASB 87. And so this, pronouncement relates to the implementation of a new standard for leases. And there’s some very complex regulations and requirements, as far as how these leases are now reported as opposed to how they’ve reported previously. And so as clients go through and read through the guidelines, they often have a lot of questions and concerns with the new presentation. So we’ve been able to address these questions as they’ve come up.

[00:04:24] Kevin: And every client has a different situation, and, and different questions. So from our standpoint, as we again, have the resources to analyze these pronouncements and interpret them, we can give some Guidance to our clients as they implement these new standards. And so, over the past few months, some of our clients have had to implement the new standard and we were able to effectively work with them, so that they could, record the new leases on their books and report them correctly for financial statement, presentation, and meet all of the new requirements and guidelines as they as they arise.

[00:04:58] Ashley: Well, I think this was a really great overview and thank you for your time today to explain accounting in the governmental industry, trends and challenges governmental entities are facing, and PKF Mueller’s involvement in the governmental industry. If any of our listeners have any questions or would like to learn more, please share how they might be able to reach you.

[00:05:15] Kevin: Sure. They can reach me at +1 708 745 3518 or they can email me at kbissell@pkfmueller.com.

[00:05:27] Ashley: And thank you to our listeners. Don’t forget to visit us at pkfmueller.com to learn more about our firm’s services. You can also follow us on social media from our updates, insights, and upcoming events.