Dr. Gilbert Crain, associate professor of accounting at the MSU-Bozeman College of Business recently participated in a governmental accounting conference held in Delhi, India. The conference was organized by Indo-USAID Financial Institutions Reform and Expansion (FIRE) Project in-collaboration with the India National Institute of Urban Affairs. The presentations highlighted information on recent innovations and reforms in state and local government accounting in India. Crain gave a talk entitled Incentives for Municipal Accounting Reforms: The US Experience.

Crain attended the conference at the invitation of the US-based Governmental Accounting Standard Board (GASB) and accompanied David Bean, Director of Research for GASB. The Governmental Accounting Standard Board establishes generally accepted accounting standards for state and local governments in the United States.

Bean and Crain also participated in a meeting with governmental accounting officials from India including the deputy controller and auditor general of India and representatives from the Indian Ministry of Urban Development and the Institute of Chartered Accountant of India.

Crain had this to say about his visit. "The governments in India are working hard on modernizing their financial management practices, including accounting and financial reporting standards. One of their objectives is to improve local governments access to the capital debt markets in order to finance much needed improvements in the delivery of water and sewer services to the nearly one billion citizens of India. David and I tried to provide insights that could expedite their modernization efforts based on what worked and didn't work in the evolution of governmental accounting practices in the United States. I was impressed both by the immensity of their needs for improved water and sewer services as well as their dedication to making the required changes in financial management practices. It also felt good as a US taxpayer to see first hand some positive impact of US foreign aid to India on the lives of its citizens."

Crain has done pro bono consulting and research for the Board since 1994, including moderating many of the GASB-sponsored focus groups of government financial statement users.