Implementing GASB 96 (for a Friend) with Chris Bitakis, CPA, CGFM, CGMA

Implementing GASB 96 (for a Friend) with Chris Bitakis, CPA, CGFM, CGMA

May 24, 2024

Insight in Indian Country Podcast

Trusted Expertise to Serve Tribal Nations

The need for consistency, collaboration, and good internal controls cannot be overstated for implementing GASB 96, which establishes uniform accounting and financial reporting for subscription-based information technology agreements (SBITAs).

With upcoming fiscal years ends on the horizon, REDW National Tribal Practice Leader Wes Benally and Audit Principal Chris Bitakis take some time to discuss GASB 96 implementation thus far and provide insights for tribal organizations to consider. They cover some of the challenges some Tribes have experienced during implementation and the similarities and differences between GASB 87 and GASB 96. They also discuss the importance of centralizing contracts and agreements, calculating liabilities, and creating disclosures. Professionals that are in need of a brief check in (and maybe a few laughs) while navigating the implementation of GASB 96 will find practical guidance in this episode.


  • Implementing GASB 96 can be challenging, especially for organizations that did not adequately plan for the implementation of GASB 87.
  • Centralizing contracts and agreements is crucial for effectively implementing GASB 96.
  • Calculating liabilities requires extracting significant data, determining the legally enforceable term, and using an appropriate interest rate.
  • Creating disclosures for GASB 96 should include a separate right-to-use subscription asset, note payable roll forward, and a subscription liability footnote.
  • Consistency, collaboration, and good internal controls are key to successfully implementing GASB 96.


  • 00:00 – Introduction and Overview
  • 03:01 – Understanding SBITA and Its Importance
  • 07:20 – Calculating Liabilities for GASB 96
  • 09:48 – Centralizing Contracts and Agreements
  • 12:42 – A Few Notes on Best Practices
  • 16:26 – Creating Disclosures for GASB 96
  • 21:44 – The Final Stretch for Implementing GASB 96
  • 24:18 – Conclusion and Closing Remarks

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Meet Your Host

Wesley Benally

Wesley Ryan Benally, CPA

REDW Principal and National Tribal Practice Leader

As the leader of REDW’s National Tribal Practice, Wes is committed to improving financial literacy throughout Indian Country and hosts the Insight in Indian Country Podcast. He oversees audits of a wide range for Native American communities, state and local government agencies, and non-profits, nationwide, is a member of the Arizona State Board of Accountancy’s Peer Review Oversight Advisory Committee and serves as an instructor with Arizona State University’s American Indian Policy Institute. In addition, as a Board member for a tribal gaming entity that operates in two states, Wes keeps up with regulatory issues important to tribal gaming operations. Wes is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.

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