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FASB Announces Top Priorities for 2017

After issuing several key Accounting Standards Updates and announcing new board members last year, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) is preparing for a busy 2017. In a five-minute video, FASB Technical Director Sue Cosper outlines the FASB’s top priorities for this year. The FASB’s top priorities for 2017 include: Finalizing the hedging and long-duration insurance standards; Supporting the implementation of its revenue recognition, leases, and credit losses standards; Potential improvements to nonprofit financial reporting, particularly distinguishing between exchanges and contributions; and Redeliberating feedback on the Invitation to Comment and continuing to focus on its Conceptual Framework. Click here to watch the video.

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Comment Letters Ask FASB to Limit Future Projects

Some trade groups want the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) to provide more leeway for implementing current accounting standards before taking on new projects. In feedback to the FASB’s Invitation to Comment, Agenda Consultation, groups like the American Bankers Association (“ABA”) asked the board to consider the time and costs needed when new standards are implemented. The ABA also noted that standards involving revenue, leases, credit losses and financial instrument measurement and classification require significant undertaking that could last over several years. Other comment letters to the agenda consultation document came from the Institute of Management Accountants (“IMA”), which advised. Read More.

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GASB to Hold Meetings August 10-12

Beginning Wednesday, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) will hold a series of meetings at its Norwalk offices. According to the GASB Notice of Meetings , the following topics will be discussed this week: The preballot draft of the proposed Exposure Draft, Certain Debt Extinguishments; The proposed Exposure Draft, Omnibus; Asset retirement obligations; Fiduciary activities; Leases; Financial reporting model; Revenue and expense recognition; and The GASB’s technical plan for the end of 2016. The GASB’s three-day meeting is expected to start Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. ET. With the exception of Thursday evening’s administrative session from 5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. ET, all meeting sessions. Read More.

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SEC Deputy Chief Accountant Speaks at Financial Reporting Conference

As guest speaker at the 15th Annual Baruch College Financial Reporting Conference, Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Deputy Chief Accountant Wesley Bricker expressed his views on the current transition period undertakings for the upcoming revenue recognition and leases standards, and the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s proposal for financial instruments’ credit impairment. He also cautioned companies that presenting non-generally accepted accounting principles in public filings, especially adjustments to revenue, will increase the likelihood of receiving an SEC comment letter. He also spoke about the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s efforts to encourage auditor attention on financial reporting risks. A transcript of Bricker’s speech is available on. Read More.

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FASB Issues Lease Accounting Standard

Today, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). The long-awaited guidance is intended to improve financial reporting for leasing transactions. The FASB estimates that there is over $1 trillion of off-balance sheet operating lease commitments for SEC registrants based on a 2005 Securities and Exchange Commission report. The new guidance will require lessees to recognize a right of use asset and related lease liability. Using the classification similar to Topic 840, the ASU identifies financing leases and operating leases. Financing leases would recognize amortization and interest expenses, while operating leases would. Read More.

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Trade Groups Make Final Plea for Leases Standard Exemption

As the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) prepares its lease accounting standard for publication, several trade groups made a last-minute attempt to have private companies exempt from the upcoming guidance. In a letter last month, the groups expressed concern that the final standard will increase complexity and not meet the needs of private business investors. The groups also believe that the extensive changes to lease accounting will hurt private companies, and cap their chances of borrowing or raising capital. The FASB has responded to several comment letters in relation to proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2013-270, Leases (Topic 842).. Read More.

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