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Definitions, Guidelines, & Best Practices for GASB 96

GASB 96 will fundamentally change the way that governments account for subscription-based information technology arrangements (SBITAs). Learn key definitions, guidelines, and best practices.

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Understanding GASB 96

GASB 96 requires subscription-based IT arrangements (SBITAs) to be reported on the face of the financial statements and enhances the relevance and reliability of a government’s SBITA information. This shift means more work to be done for finance teams that are already understaffed throughout the country.

Who is Impacted by GASB 96?

GASB 96 applies to financial reports from:

  • Local government (counties, municipalities, school districts)
  • Higher education (public colleges and universities)
  • Public hospitals and healthcare providers

What is the Purpose of GASB 96?

Every organization uses some sort of IT subscription service (e.g., ERP System, Office 365, Zoom, DocuSign). These subscription payments are typically expensed with little visibility into the obligations or liabilities governments have. GASB 96 helps to increase transparency in the accounting and disclosure for these contracts.

When does GASB 96 Go Into Effect?

GASB 96 becomes effective for reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2022, meaning entities with a June 30th fiscal year-end will be the first to implement for their fiscal year 2023.

Getting started on your GASB 96 Implementation

Preparing for GASB 96 implementation and ongoing compliance will be a very time-intensive process, and governments should start to evaluate the impact of the new guidance on their financial teams. Depending on the number of SBITAs an organization has and the size of the team, it can take 12 weeks or longer for a small team to plan and prepare for GASB 96. 

There are many tasks to consider as you prepare for the mandatory change: 

  • Understand the structure and requirements of the new accounting standard 
  • Evaluate whether to overhaul your current SBITA reporting structure yourself or leverage a technology solution
  • Complete GASB 96 implementation before the 2023 deadline

Subscription management software, such as DebtBook, has been developed specifically with governments and other public entities (and their unique challenges) in mind. These solutions can help organizations operate more efficiently and significantly reduce the burden placed on local teams to comply with new financial reporting standards. Most importantly, they can address all three phases of challenges faced by organizations looking to implement GASB 96:

  1. Upfront SBITA Organization & Data Extraction
  2. Schedule Creation
  3. Ongoing Compliance

If this process sounds overwhelming, you may want to consider a subscription management solution. These types of software programs help organizations implement and maintain compliance with GASB 96 by automating time-consuming processes and eliminating manual data entry.

Getting Started

DebtBook delivers a complete, straightforward solution to address all three phases of challenges faced by organizations looking to implement GASB 96:

  • PHASE 1: Upfront SBITA Organization & Data Extraction
    • Our team can help organize and extract data from all of your contracts and have you verify the information, or we can guide you through the process to enter the information in the application.
  • PHASE 2: Schedule Creation 
    • DebtBook generates all schedules necessary to comply with GASB 96. Share with your team and external auditor(s) for use and verification.
  • PHASE 3: Ongoing Compliance
    • With 24/7 accessibility and more efficient collaboration across departments, you can ensure all future contracts are accounted for and uploaded in a timely, stress-free manner.

Related Reading

For additional information on GASB 96, please review our list of additional resources below:


DebtBook does not provide professional services or advice. DebtBook has prepared these materials for general informational and educational purposes, which means we have not tailored the information to your specific circumstances. Please consult your professional advisors before taking action based on any information in these materials. Any use of this information is solely at your own risk.

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