2021 was another busy year for finance teams that are still navigating challenges arising from issues such as pandemic pressures, the Great Resignation, and new accounting standards. Over the past months, the DebtBook team has been honored to appear as key speakers at events across the nation, co-host virtual webinars, and write for industry publications. These opportunities enabled us to share our insights, experiences, and expertise to help finance professionals better manage their debt and leases. Whether you’re new to the DebtBook blog or missed one of our weekly updates, we rounded up this year’s top 5 pieces of content below.
#1 Planning and Preparing for GASB-87: A Step-by-Step Guide
The countdown to comply with GASB-87 could hardly be forgotten in 2021. Local governments, higher education institutions, and healthcare organizations need to plan ahead for these changes in accounting standards by their next fiscal year, but the process can be complex and confusing. DebtBook’s Head of Accounting Services, Kasey Harris, compiled a very detailed explanation and step-by-step best practice guide for understanding GASB-87 and meeting compliance requirements.
#2 10 Ways Debt Management Software Boosts Efficiency, Accuracy, Collaboration
Finance teams in local government, higher education, and healthcare know the importance of meticulous debt management practices, but the process is not so simple. Under pressure to operate more efficiently and manage capital more effectively, finance departments need better tools tailored to meet their unique needs and challenges. Enter debt management software.
#3 How to Determine if You Have a Lease Under GASB-87
GASB-87 fundamentally changed the way that both lessors and lessees recognize and disclose leases. Nearly every government, higher education, and healthcare organization has at least one contract, whether for buildings, land, vehicles, or equipment. But that contract may or may not qualify as a lease under GASB-87. This simple, yet comprehensive decision tree will guide you through the process of determining if your contract is considered a lease under GASB-87.
#4 Four Ways Debt and Lease Management Software Can Improve Decision-making
Local government finance teams regularly face complex tasks, cumbersome processes, and shifting accounting standards and requirements. Their roles have become even more challenging, as municipalities take on more debt to accommodate budget shortfalls and attempt to navigate uncertainty while supporting their communities. Debt and lease management software can bring much needed visibility and clarity into your decision-making process.
#5 DebtBook’s Guide to the Incremental Borrowing Rate
GASB-87 posed new challenges for finance teams that had lease contracts without a clear borrowing rate. Organizations can use the incremental borrowing rate (IBR) provided by their bank, which is an estimate of the theoretical interest rate you would have been charged had you financed the acquisition of a particular asset rather than leasing it. The downside: getting a new rate for each lease will require you to go back to your banker time and time again. For those who don’t want to go to your banker for a separate rate every time you enter into a new lease, we built a simple yet powerful template to estimate your incremental borrowing rate.
Bonus: The Town of Brighton, New York Modernizes Their Debt Management Processes
Brighton’s finance team was using outdated, unreliable paper-based systems to manage their bonds and budgeting. It was near impossible to gather and share this data in an efficient and timely manner, resulting in their search for a better solution. According to their Director of Finance, DebtBook allowed the Town of Brighton to shift from its manual approach to debt management to a "smoother, more efficient, and more reliable debt management experience."
Check out our resource library to access more best practices articles, templates, checklists, and infographics. In 2022, we look forward to continuing to deliver industry news, best practices, and resources to help finance teams digitally transform their finance operations.