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What is the difference between the restricted, committed and assigned fund balance in government accounting?

If you’re studying for the FAR section of the CPA exam, you should be familiar with the difference between these fund balances in government account. Below is an excerpt from GASB:

Restricted –  The restricted fund balance category includes amounts that can be spent only for the specific purposes stipulated by constitution, external resource providers, or through enabling legislation. 

Committed –  The committed fund balance classification includes amounts that can be used only for the specific purposes determined by a formal action of the government’s highest level of decision-making authority. 

Assigned – Amounts in the assigned fund balance classification are intended to be used by the government for specific purposes but do not meet the criteria to be classified as restricted or committed. 


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