Debt Service Funds

A major goal of governmental financial reporting is assessing financial performance, that is, how well the government is doing with the money entrusted to it. From the standpoint of making judgments about the performance of government funds and government finance, the financial reports are a good place to start. These reports can provide a considerable amount of the information for gauging financial compliance, success, and health. Governmental and nonprofit accounting both use the concept of fund accounting. In fund accounting, the entity is divided into subsets or “funds” each with its own self-balancing set of accounts. Even though GASB Statement #34 will dramatically change the reporting format, the concept of fund accounting will remain the key difference between governmental and private sector accounting. A look at the various types of funds can lead to a better understanding of the impact they have on accounting disciplines. The funds are grouped into three fund types: governmental, proprietary, and fiduciary. There are also account groups, but account groups are not funds because they do not have transactions in the ordinary course of business. Instead, they are holding places for items such as fixed assets and long-term debt. Our focus is on one example of a governmental fund called a debt service fund.
Codification section 1300.104a(4) defines a debt service as a fund to account for the accumulation of