SEC Trends & Developments - Summer 2012 - Accounting Standards Update

July 24, 2012

The FASB presents a project plan on its website to communicate information about its standards-setting activities to stakeholders and other interested parties. Updates to its recently completed projects and ongoing technical plans are posted regularly on the website. As we’ve previously reported in our column, a significant portion of the FASB’s time and resources have been dedicated to joint projects with the IASB, with a goal toward “substantial” convergence with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). There have been a number of noteworthy agreements reached by the two Boards recently on a number of projects. For instance, the IASB has tentatively decided to add a third category for classification and measurement of debt instruments which results in the same three categories for both U.S. GAAP and IFRS when accounting for financial instruments. However, the Boards still hold diverse views on other projects, such as with recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure requirements of insurance contracts. While the SEC continues to signal that its IFRS Work Plan will be released in the very near future, the expectation is that definitive action by the SEC regarding the adoption of IFRS could be delayed beyond 2012. It is also not clear how, or if, the recently announced and pending departure of the SEC’s Chief Accountant, James Kroeker, may affect the timing of this decision.

While the FASB is fully committed to its busy standard-setting agenda, the over-arching tone may be best stated by its Chairman, Leslie Seidman, in a recent comment reported in The New York Times: “I am in favor of some form of incorporation of international standards, but we do not have a compelling, urgent need to adopt IFRS.” Meanwhile, the FASB is also working on a number of other projects and standard-setting initiatives. Below is a summary of the timeline on a number of key projects currently on FASB’s technical plan. Additional information and a complete list of the Board’s projects and status can be found on the FASB’s website.


Investment Company Q4 - Final Document  
Financial Instrument - Impairment Q4 - Exposure Draft  
Financial Instrument - Classification and Measurement Q4 - Exposure Draft  
Insurance Contracts Q4 - Exposure Draft  
Leases Q4 - Exposure Draft  
Revenue Recognition   Q1 - Final Document
Financial Instrument - Liquidity & Interest Rate Disclosure Q2 - Exposure Draft  
Liquidation Basis of Accounting - Phase 1 Q2 - Exposure Draft  
Going Concern - Phase 2 Q4 - Exposure Draft  
Nonpublic Entity Fair Value Measurement Disclosure Q2 - Exposure Draft  
Investment Property Entity Q4 - Final Document  
Impairment of Indefinite-lived Intangible Assets Q3- Final Document  
Presentation of Comprehensive Income - Reclassification Out of AOCI Q3 - Exposure Draft  


SEC Trends & Developments - Summer 2012 Issue  

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