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FASB Proposes Expanding Allowed Interest Rates to Hedge Accounting Standard

The list of permissible U.S. benchmark interest rates for the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) hedge accounting standard could expand. In its recently issued Proposed Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”), the FASB would add the Overnight Index Swap rate based on the Secured Overnight Financing Rate as a fifth U.S. benchmark interest rate. The addition would help companies avoid any potential expenses and complexities related to using varying cash flows and discount rates to evaluate the hedged item and the hedging instrument. Comments are due Friday, March 30.  

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New SEC Interpretive Guidance Addresses Tax Reform

In response to the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has released interpretive guidance to help public companies and auditors adapt to the tax changes and comply with accounting for income taxes. The first guidance is in the form of Staff Accounting Bulletin (“SAB”) No. 118 (Topic 5.EE, Income Tax Accounting Implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act). Under SAB No. 118, companies preparing their 2017 fourth-quarter and end-of-year financial statements and regulatory filings will be allowed to provide what the SEC calls “reasonable estimates” and “provisional amounts” for tax-related line items.. Read More.

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Recap of Private Company Council’s December Meeting

At its December 8 meeting, the Private Company Council provided feedback on the following topics: Customer’s Accounting for Implementation, Setup, and Other Upfront Costs (Implementation Costs) Incurred in a Cloud Computing Arrangement That Is Considered a Service Contract: Council members declared that implementation costs are to be capitalized in such arrangements, except fees for a cloud computing arrangement that are considered a service contract. Financial Performance Reporting: Council members examined the results of Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) staff’s research on private company financial statements, and the possible impact disaggregation of performance information may have on the private company sector.. Read More.

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FASB to Clarify Troubled Debt Restructurings Guidance

Guidance for troubled debt restructurings under the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) credit losses standard will soon receive an update. The FASB intends to clarify the recognition and measurement of troubled debt restructurings by allowing banking institutions that calculate allowances for credit losses on modified loans to select a prepayment-adjusted effective interest rate when implementing Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments — Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments. The clarified guidance would allow banks that calculate allowances for their credit losses on troubled debt restructurings to select a prepayment-adjusted effective interest rate when. Read More.

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FASB to Review Revenue Standard Implementation Costs

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) plans to examine how companies implement its revenue recognition standard when the guidance goes into effect next year. At a December 14 meeting, FASB Chairman Russell Golden stated that the board would undertake a comprehensive review of Accounting Standards Codification 606, Revenue From Contracts With Customers, to adjust its education process for future guidance, boost outreach with financial software providers, and find ways that could reduce implementation costs of significant standards. Golden said the review would focus on companies that have already implemented revenue. In particular, the FASB wants to know what were the. Read More.

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Data Collection Stifling Companies’ Lease Implementation Efforts

Officials from Avis Budget Group Inc. and General Dynamics Mission Systems say collecting data during the implementation process for the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) leases standard has slowed compliance efforts. At a December 6 conference in Washington, D.C., company officials described their adoption of Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), as being more intensive than expected. The FASB issued the standard to simplify lease accounting for companies. However, since corporations lease a wide range of items, the assets could produce a massive amount of data to gather and review. Adena Lerner of General Dynamics Missions Systems, for. Read More.

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