New accounting guidelines will affect Summit County finally in the next year |

New accounting guidelines will affect Summit County finally in the next year

SUMMIT COUNTY – When the county’s 2003 financial statements are published next year, they could be a lot easier to read. At least, that’s the primary idea behind the new Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) guidelines.

The idea is to bring government reports more in line with the style found in the private sector, County Finance Director Linda Gregory said.

The guidelines, which were first adopted in 1999 and are applicable from the state level on down, have been phased in slowly.

It’s only now that the county’s turn has come.

A new format is not the only change, however. From now on, governments will also be required to report the value of their infrastructure in their finance statements.

This will hopefully allow interested citizens to grasp the condition of local roads and bridges quickly.

“If you’re a person who has potholes in their roads, you may be interested to know that the commissioners have committed (themselves) to maintain these roads,” Gregory said.

The new guidelines are not without their cost. Still, Gregory noted that Summit County was in a better position than many other bodies affected by the rules because it already had a pavement-management system in place that would streamline gathering information.

“Especially now, when a lot of state and local governments are feeling a lot of pressure (on their budgets), it’s hard,” Gregory said.

Aidan Leonard can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at

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