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FASB and IASB Make Progress on Joint Standard

Moving closer to a final standard that will mandate companies to add most of their lease liabilities on balance sheets, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) and International Accounting Standards Board (“IASB”) have come to an agreement on several provisions of their lease accounting project. Meeting on April 23rd via videoconference, the boards sought to curtail differences that are keeping them from creating a joint standard for FASB’s Proposed Accounting Standards Update No. 2013-270, Leases (Topic 842), and IASB’s Exposure Draft No. 2013-5, Leases, as well as offer more clarity about lease contract revisions. Most notable from the four-hour meeting,. Read More.

SEC to Move Forward with Conflict Minerals Rule

Despite the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s (“the Court”) recent ruling, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chair Mary Jo White announced that the SEC will continue to carry out most of its Conflict Minerals final rule. The final rule, which forces companies to publicly reveal whether or not they have used conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or neighboring countries and file the disclosure on an SEC-issued form, was ruled by the Court as a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. During her testimony at the April 29th “Oversight of. Read More.

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SASB Board of Directors Appoints New Members

Prepping final releases of new standards for over 80 industries in ten sectors by the end of next year, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”) recently announced that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chairman Mary Schapiro have agreed to join its Board of Directors. Bloomberg will become chair of the Board of Directors, and Schapiro will serve as vice chair. In addition, Head of Americas at UBS Global Asset Management Shawn Lytle has been appointed as a new member of the board. Lytle will be joining the following returning members:. Read More.

PCC’s Decision on Intangible Assets Delayed Again

Failing to agree on how private companies report intangible assets when purchasing or joining another company, the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) Private Company Council (“PCC”) once again could not come to terms with Proposed Accounting Standards Update No. PCC-13-01A, Business Combinations (Topic 805): Accounting for Identifiable Intangible Assets in a Business Combination. During its April 29th meeting, the PCC further discussed the proposal that would give private companies relief from determining the value of hard-to-price assets such as customer lists or noncompete agreements. However, similar to its January discussion, the PCC couldn’t come to terms on writing the exemptions.. Read More.

Conflict Minerals’ Interpretative Guidance Issued

Issued on April 29th, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has announced interpretive guidance based on Release No. 34-67716, Conflict Minerals. Named Statement on the Effect of the Recent Court of Appeals Decision on the Conflict Minerals Rule (“the Statement”), the guidance is in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s (“the Court”) April 14th ruling that part of the provision which forces companies to use disclosure language like “DRC conflict free” or “DRC conflict undeterminable” violates the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. The interpretive guidance curtails the independent audit requirement for the SEC’s Conflict. Read More.

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Minimum Wage to Increase on U.S. Government Service Contracts and Subcontracts

As stated in his recent State of the Union Address on February 14, 2014, President Obama has signed an executive order to effectively increase the minimum wage required to be paid to employees of U.S. Government contractors. This mandated wage increase will only apply to service-based contracts, not supply contracts. Although not yet finalized, once the Department of Labor rolls out its regulations, the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council will follow with releasing its final regulations that will modify the current law around minimum wage requirements. It is important to note that this law will not apply to existing contracts or. Read More.