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Standard Setters Still at Odds over Lease Project

At their July 23rd joint meeting, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) and International Accounting Standards Board (“IASB”) resumed efforts to converge U.S. GAAP and IFRS. In particular, the top focus was FASB’s Proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2013-270, Leases (Topic 842), and IASB’s Exposure Draft (ED) No. 2013-6, Leases. Conflicted on recognizing the gains for sale-leaseback transactions, the boards continue to have opposing attitudes toward their lease accounting project. During the meeting, FASB agreed to allow sellers of assets to recognize the full gain from the time of the transaction. On the conflicting end, IASB agreed to let. Read More.

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Updated Conceptual Framework Proposal Comment Letter Approved

During its July 15th teleconference, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Financial Reporting Executive Committee (“FinREC”) approved an updated draft comment letter related to the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) Proposed Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts (CON) No. 2014-200, Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting-Chapter 8: Notes to Financial Statements. Despite not providing official guidance to users of financial statements, the proposal offers guidelines for writing U.S. GAAP disclosure requirements. Signed by FinREC’s Richard Paul and Rick Day, the seven-page letter orders FASB to review current disclosure requirements, and remove repetitive disclosures and insufficient information. Per the letter, the simplification of disclosures will. Read More.

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SEC Releases New Documents on XBRL-Based Filings

Related to filings using eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has issued Staff Observations of Custom Tag Rates (“the Report”) and Sample Letter Sent to Public Companies Regarding XBRL Requirement to Include Calculation Relationships (“the Letter”). Per the SEC, the Report will help review the quality of XBRL exhibits issuers present to meet the agency’s requirements in filing financial statement information via XBRL format. The review will assist the SEC in defining a starting point for filers tagging financial statements when filing electronically, including how their actions have changes since completing the phase-in of issuer and. Read More.

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FASB Continues U.S. GAAP Simplification Initiative

Hoping to streamline inventory measurement and remove the requirements for extraordinary items, the Financial Accounting Standards Board recently released two proposed Accounting Standards Updates. The proposals, which are part of FASB’s efforts to simplify U.S. GAAP , include: — Inventory (Topic 330): Simplifying the Measurement of Inventory. This proposal is in response to stakeholder concerns about the current guidance on measuring inventory. Currently, reporting entities are required to measure inventory at the lower of cost or market. The new guidance would require inventory to be measured at the lower of cost and net realizable value. Thus, it would eliminate existing requirements to consider the replacement cost. Read More.

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FASB’s Going Concern Amendment to Affect PCAOB Standards

In the coming weeks, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) plans to release an amendment that requires struggling companies to inform investors regarding their chances of surviving. Entitled proposed Accounting Standards Update No. 2013-300, Presentation of Financial Statements (Topic 205)—Disclosure of Uncertainties about an Entity’s Going Concern Presumption, the update is in response to investors and regulators who believed auditors issued going concern reviews of companies after the stock price mirrored the market’s knowledge of their pending demise. Per the FASB’s final update to U.S. GAAP, a company will be required to add in its financial statement footnotes when “substantial. Read More.

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FASB and IASB Merging Utilities Industry Standards Not Likely

After attempts to merge utilities industry standards with the International Accounting Standards Board (“IASB”), Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) member Thomas Linsmeier recently announced that U.S. GAAP and IFRS differences have created challenges that make potential future convergence projects unlikely. At an accounting conference last month, Linsmeier referenced the FASB and IASB’s heavy investment in utilities financial reporting, and their preference in the U.S. GAAP’s cost-of-service model. However, the IASB is considering other models that differ from Topic 980, Regulated Operations, a decades-long model which offers standards for utilities that recognize regulated assets and liabilities within the industry. Further, the. Read More.

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