Legislative Service Organizations:

Proposed Accounting Standards and Guidelines

AIMD-94-49: Published: Dec 16, 1993. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 1993.

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GAO provided information on proposed accounting standards and guidelines for legislative service organizations (LSO), focusing on whether LSO should: (1) use accrual accounting to report their financial operations; (2) disclose the House regulations that govern their operations; and (3) disclose its relationships with outside organizations.

GAO found that: (1) LSO should use accrual basis accounting to report their financial operations, since accrual accounting timely recognizes revenues and expenditures and can provide effective financial control over operational resources and costs and adequate cost information; (2) LSO accrual accounting would allow LSO to have similar accounting standards as many other legislative and executive revolving fund activities; (3) LSO would not incur unreasonable costs in preparing accrual-based financial statements; (4) LSO financial statements should disclose the House regulations that govern LSO operations and the matters that affect the statements' use, understanding, and interpretation; (5) although federal regulations prohibit LSO staff from being compensated by outside organizations, LSO staff have had relationships with outside organizations on an uncompensated basis; and (6) LSO should disclose the nature and extent of its relationships with outside organizations and any significant transactions between LSO and the organizations.

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