Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Electronic Filing Guidance Instructions and Guidance for
Institutions of Higher Education
To streamline the financial reporting process, the Commonwealth is moving toward
electronic reporting and submission of data from Institutions of Higher Education and
separately audited entities. This implementation is occurring in FY2009. Other states
have done this successfully in the past and we are using some of the same techniques to
streamline our reporting process.
Items of Interest for FY09
General Questions Questions on this document should be addressed to BJ Trivedi,
Director of Financial Reporting at (617)-973-2663.
Templates Templates populated with your institution’s FY2008 results have been
included for your reference. These Microsoft Excel templates should be returned to our
office in Excel pursuant to the various due dates in this document and in the instructions.
A Reminder About SAS 112 Statement on Auditing Standards No. 112, Communicating
Internal Control Related Matters Identified in an Audit (SAS 112), became effective for
FY07. SAS 112 states that the identification by the auditors of a material misstatement is
an indicator of a control deficiency that should be regarded as at least a significant
deficiency and a strong indicator of a material weakness in internal control. This includes
misstatements involving estimation and judgments and prior year ending balance
restatements due to errors. It is possible that significant errors resulting in financial
statement template adjustments, including prior year ending balance restatements, could
result in either material internal control weaknesses or even a qualified opinion on the
Commonwealth’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Institutions and
foundations must ensure controls are in place to avoid material misstatements,
restatements (due to errors), and/or misclassifications in the financial statement
GASB Statements to be Implemented in FY09 and the Future
The following GASB statements are effective for FY09:
- GASB Statement No. 49, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pollution
Remediation Obligations. This statement addresses accounting and financial
reporting issues to address current and potential effects of existing pollution issues,
excluding pollution prevention and control obligations. Once one of five potential
events occurs, governments are required to estimate expected pollution remediation
outlays and determine whether those outlays are liabilities or, if appropriate, assets
held for sale, at the point of where goods and services are acquired.
- GASB Statement No. 52, Land and Other Real Estate Held As Investments By
Endowments. This statement will directly impact institution foundations and similar
entities. These entities may exist to invest resources for generating income. Pension
plans and similar entities report land at fair value, rather than historical cost. This
statement requires that all endowment type entities report land and other real estate
held as investments to be recorded at fair value, rather than at historical cost.
Changes in fair value are reported as part of investment income. This statement
should be implemented in FY09.
Future GASB Statements that may require activity in FY09, FY10, and FY11 include:
- GASB Statement No 53, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Derivative
Instruments. This statement is intended to improve how state and local governments
report information about derivative instruments—financial arrangements used by
governments to manage specific risks or make investments—in their financial
statements. The Statement specifically requires governments to measure most
derivative instruments at fair value in their financial statements that are prepared
using the economic resources measurement focus and the accrual basis of accounting.
The guidance in this Statement also addresses hedge accounting requirements and is
effective for financial statements for reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2009,
with earlier application encouraged.
- GASB Statement No. 51, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Intangible
Assets. This statement will directly impact institutions and the Commonwealth.
Items that may be considered intangible assets include, but are not limited to,
easements, water rights, timber rights, patents, trademarks and internally generated
computer software. Statement No. 51 requires that all intangible assets, unless
specifically excluded, be reported as capital assets. Intangible assets are only
reported if they are identifiable. Certain criteria are presented for capitalization
milestones within the Statement, especially for software development. This
statement will be implemented in FY10, however RETROACTIVE
implementation is required for existing intangible assets.
Preparation of Attachments
Listing of attachments
The column below titled “Complete for HEI” documents the financial information that
must be reported on the attachments. In this section, the acronyms are defined as follows:
• HEI: Higher education institution including any blended component units of the HEI
Attachment Complete for Attachment or Tab Name Due Date
HE-1 HEI Contact Survey Aug 1
HE-2 HEI Beginning Net Asset Reconciliation Aug 1
HE-3 HEI Federal Schedules September
HE-4 HEI Financial Statement Template and October 15
HE-4A HEI Cash, Cash Equivalents and Investments October 15
as of June 30
HE-5 HEI GASBS No. 14 Checklist Modified to July 15
Reflect GASBS No. 39
There are numerous comments within the Excel spreadsheets that provide clarification
regarding information that should be provided. Many cells have validation features to
ensure information is entered correctly. If information is not entered correctly, an error
message will display. Some of the validation functions are as follows: only yellow
highlighted cells allow for data entry, only enter whole dollar amounts, amounts on the
financial statement template (FST) must agree to the applicable footnote tabs. Check
figures are in red and provide total amounts and variance amounts that should help
determine why an “ERROR” message appears in a cell.
The Certification tab requires all preparers and reviewers to type their name on this
form. Please note that there should be a segregation of duties; therefore, the preparer and
the reviewer should not be the same individual for any tab. By typing a name, the
individual is certifying that all tabs of this attachment have been reviewed, the
information is both complete and accurate, and the preparer and reviewer was not the
same individual for any tab.
FY2009 submission of information to the Office of the State Comptroller
Except as noted on specific attachments, CTR requires the institution to e-mail the
attachments, and / or supplemental information by email to the Financial Reporting
Bureau at the Office of the Comptroller. CTR will e-mail a confirmation of receipt for
each electronic submission. Institutions should follow-up with CTR if the institution does
not receive a confirmation. Institutions should not submit paper copies of e-mailed
attachments. CTR will also notify institutions if submissions do not meet the specified
standards. If a submission is deemed unacceptable and rejected by CTR, the institution
will be provided a short window of opportunity to resubmit the information in a manner
that adequately addresses the deficiencies noted by CTR. For audited financial reports,
CTR will still require two bound copies. For auditors’ independence letters,
submissions will be required by email on the auditors’ letterhead to KPMG LLP.
If you need personal email address’s for the electronic submissions please call Larissa
Serebryanaya (617) 973-2304 or Neil Gouse (617) 973-2418
Please note each instruction worksheet has a different submission date. Please adhere to
Additional Information Requirements
CTR will notify institutions during the CAFR preparation and throughout the year if
additional information is needed and provide a due date via e-mail correspondence to the
persons who are designated by each institution in the templates.