Reporting Model Phase II

FASAB Contact: Ross Simms, simmsr@fasab.gov, 202-512-2512

Project Objective:

Considering users’ needs for integrated budget, cost, and performance information, the project involves developing illustrative reporting models, conducting performance reporting research, and continuing discrete projects as determined.

HISTORY OF BOARD DELIBERATIONS

February 21-22, 2018

In considering a reporting model for the future, the Board observed a demonstration of interactive data visualizations, management’s discussion and analyses (MD&As), and financial statements. The interactive presentations considered the needs of users and were designed to help users understand financial information.

Mr. Justin Marsico, Senior Policy Analyst, Department of the Treasury (Treasury), presented a series of data visualizations. Treasury developed the visualizations to help users understand and explore data collected as part of the Digital Accountability and Transparency (DATA) Act of 2014. Mr. Marsico’s presentation included a sankey diagram and a dendrogram. The sankey diagram linked budget functions to object classes and illustrated the magnitude of the relationships. The dendrogram listed each federal agency and allowed users to drill down from the agency level to the sub-agency level and to the federal accounts that comprise sub-agency spending. Users could also view a federal account profile to gain a better understanding of how agencies receive and spend congressional funding to carry out their programs, projects, and activities.

The Board also observed an interactive MD&A and interactive financial statements developed by a team from Deloitte & Touche LLP. The interactive MD&A included tips to help users understand technical terms, a sankey diagram of budgetary resources, a radar chart comparing the net cost for five programs over multiple periods, and a geospatial heat map of net cost by state with drill-down capability enabling users to view amounts by congressional district. The interactive financial statements also provided drill-down capability. The drill-down feature enabled users to learn more about the details of financial statement line item balances.

The Board encouraged continued progress in electronic reporting. The Deloitte team included Mr. Justin Reed, Partner; Ms. Tasha Austin, Senior Manager; Mr. Daniel Shorstein, Manager; Ms. Tanya Bagheri, Business Technology Analyst; Ms. Reem El Seed, Consultant; and Mr. Dai Tran, Specialist Master.

The Board subsequently discussed whether to revisit certain topics within Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Concepts (SFFAC) 3, Management’s Discussion and Analysis. The possible topics included revisiting (1) SFFAC 3 for standards or implementation guidance; (2) the role of MD&A; (3) the scope of MD&A; (4) the schematic diagram of a sample general purpose federal financial report (GPFFR); (5) the intended audience for MD&A and GPFFRs; (6) the financial statements discussion; (7) the systems, control, and legal compliance discussion; and/or (8) the performance discussion. Board members discussed the topics for revisiting SFFAC 3 and noted that they were integrated rather than stand-alone topics. Consequently, the Board agreed that implementation guidance should be developed to help improve the content of MD&As. The Board noted that component reporting entities could be more creative and use interactive technology. Existing standards do not preclude reporting entities from using the technology.