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FASB Consolidation Guidance Could Be Split Up

In a unanimous decision last week, Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) members agreed to propose splitting its consolidation guidance in two. The FASB wants to remove the guidance regarding voting interest entities and variable interest entities under Topic 810, Consolidation, and add it to a new standard called Topic 812. FASB members noted that the separation would make consolidation guidance easier for companies to follow and would conform to how Big Four firms produce their own manuals for accountants to consult. The March 8 decision was part of the board’s work to simplify certain aspects of Topic 810, which defines. Read More.

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New Gender Gap Analysis Published

A new analytical report on gender disparities in the research field has been released by information solutions-leader Elsevier. “Gender in the Global Research Landscape” examines research performance by gender from a dozen countries or regions, and more than 20 years and in 27 fields. Some of the report’s main findings include: Women collaborate internationally less than men Women inventors are on the rise, but the number remains proportionally low Women are less likely to participate in cross-sector research concerning academe and industry More on Elsevier’s report is available on Inside Higher Ed.

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Harvard Ordered to Release Donor’s Financial Information

A federal judge has ordered Harvard University to release any financial information it possesses on entrepreneur Charles Spackman. The decision is in response to a lawsuit filed by investor Sang Cheol Woo to collect a judgment from Spackman, one of Harvard’s wealthiest donors. The Woo ruling could impact the money Harvard previously received from Spackman, and the school could be sued if a fraudulent transfer took place. More on the Harvard ruling is available at the Nonprofit Quarterly website.

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FASB Addresses General Expenditure Questions for Nonprofit Standard

With the 2018 effective date approaching for Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2016-14, Not-for-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities, a project manager with the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) research team has advised nonprofit groups not to overthink the concept of “general expenditure.” Addressing concerns over the disclosure of funds for general expenditure at last week’s FASB Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee meeting, Rick Cole said donor restrictions on certain funds would not be exempt from general expenditures. He remarked that many of the illustrations should be taken as they are, not as absolute law. FASB Assistant Director. Read More.

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Nonprofits Concerned with Contribution Classifications for Revenue Standard

Several nonprofits are confused over whether to classify a contribution as having a restriction or a condition with respect to the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) revenue recognition standard. The issue is significant to nonprofits because it impacts the timing of recording the revenue from the contribution, but FASB Assistant Director Jeffrey Mechanick recently cautioned that it will ultimately be in the hands of an organization’s financial report preparers to decide. At last week’s meeting between the FASB and its Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee, Mechanick said due to the amount of judgment in practice, the board is attempting to offer improved. Read More.

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FASB Clarifies Donor-Imposed Conditions

During a discussion last Wednesday concerning its project on revenue recognition of grants and contracts by nonprofits, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) agreed to refine guidance under Subtopic 958-605, Not-for-Profit Entities—Revenue Recognition. Specifically, the FASB clarified the definition of a “donor-imposed condition” by including the following: A right of return, involving either a return of assets transferred or a release of a promisor from its responsibility to transfer assets. A barrier that must be overcome before the recipient receives transferred or promised assets. Indicators and illustrative examples would help describe a barrier.

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