The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) announced on May 23 the approval of changes to the Uniform System of Accounts (USOA) for municipal electric, water and sewer utilities related to the accounting for debt issuance costs.
The issuance of Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) No. 65 in March of 2012 changed the accounting for debt issuance costs under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) effective January 1, 2013. Previously these costs were deferred and amortized over the life of the related debt, however, under the new standard debt issuance costs would be expensed in the period incurred. The existing PSCW USOA for municipal utilities provided for the deferral and amortization of these costs. Baker Tilly approached the PSCW requesting that the USOA be revised to allow consistent accounting for both GAAP and regulatory purposes given these costs are non-operating and do not impact ratemaking. Commission staff concurred that the request was reasonable.