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Boards continue leases discussion

Jan 24, 2015

At their January 21, 2015, joint meeting, the FASB and IASB discussed feedback received on the lessee disclosure requirements in their 2013 exposure draft.

Specifically, the boards discussed:

  • Overall disclosure objective.
  • Quantitative disclosure requirements.
  • Qualitative disclosure requirements.
  • Considerations for nonpublic business entities.

For details on the tentative decisions made during the meeting, see the related Deloitte Accounting Journal entry as well as the meeting minutes on the FASB's Web site.

EITF discusses two Issues at January educational meeting

Jan 23, 2015

At its educational meeting yesterday, the EITF discussed Issues on the following topics: (1) application of the normal purchases and normal sales (NPNS) scope exception to certain electricity contracts in nodal energy markets (Issue 15-A) and (2) simplifications to the accounting for employee benefit plans, including defined benefit plans, defined contribution plans, and welfare plans (Issue 15-C).

Regarding Issue 15-A, the FASB staff provided background on the development of nodal industry markets as well as both general and industry-specific criteria that a contract for the physical delivery of electricity would need to meet to qualify for the NPNS scope exception and thus be excluded from the scope of derivative accounting under ASC 815. In discussing Issue 15-C, the staff gave an overview of the various plan types and detailed the feedback it has received to date regarding the simplification of certain aspects of disclosing and measuring such plans.

The next EITF meeting is scheduled for March 19, 2015. For additional information, see the EITF section of the FASB’s Web site.

FASB issues two proposed ASUs to simplify the accounting for income taxes

Jan 22, 2015

As part of its simplification initiative, the FASB has issued the following proposed ASUs: (1) "Intra-Entity Asset Transfers" and (2) "Balance Sheet Classification of Deferred Taxes."

Intra-entity asset transfers

This proposal removes the requirement under which the income tax consequences of intra-entity asset transfers are deferred until the assets are ultimately sold to an outside party. The tax consequences of such transfers would be recognized in tax expense when the transfers occur. This treatment is consistent with IAS 12, Income Taxes. The Board acknowledged that the elimination of this exception in ASC 740 might not reduce the cost entities incur because they would need to track book-tax differences related to those assets. However, the Board believes that the change would better depict the economic effect (e.g., a cash tax payment) of those transfers and would lead to easier application of the general guidance in ASC 740.

The proposed ASU would require a modified retrospective transition, with a cumulative catch-up adjustment to opening retained earnings in the period of adoption. Since the period of adoption would not be comparable to the prior periods presented, entities would need to disclose the nature of and reason for the accounting change and the quantitative effects of the accounting change on the financial statements for the period of adoption.

Balance sheet classification of deferred taxes

Under this proposal, all deferred taxes would be classified as noncurrent. Jurisdictional netting would still be required. The proposed ASU asks constituents who disagree with the proposed change to identify alternatives for presenting deferred taxes in a classified balance sheet and the conceptual basis for those alternatives. Entities would be required to apply the proposed amendments prospectively.

Effective date

For public business entities, the proposed ASUs would be effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016, and interim periods within those annual periods. Early adoption would not be permitted.  Entities other than public business entities would have a one-year deferral and would be permitted to early adopt the standard as long as such adoption is no sooner than the effective date for public business entities.

Next Steps

Comments on the two proposals are due by May 29, 2015. For more information about the proposed ASUs, see the FASB’s Web site.

United States and European Union remain committed to convergence, stress the importance of consistent application

Jan 16, 2015

Participants in the U.S.-EU Financial Markets Regulatory Dialogue (FMRD) met on January 12, 2015, to exchange information on regulatory developments and discuss their strong cooperation and shared interests in continuing to implement and enforce robust standards, including those on the G-20 financial regulatory agenda.

Par­tic­i­pants discussed recent de­vel­op­ments regarding the use of IFRSs and U.S. GAAP and reiterated that they were committed to “con­ver­gence on high quality accounting standards and . . . to continue their efforts regarding con­sis­tency in the ap­pli­ca­tion of accounting standards in practice.”

The FRMD, which began in 2002, brings together rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the European Com­mis­sion (DG MARKT); the European Su­per­vi­sory Au­thor­i­ties (ESAs — European Banking Authority, European Insurance and Oc­cu­pa­tional Pensions Authority, European Se­cu­ri­ties and Markets Authority); and the U.S. Treasury and in­de­pen­dent reg­u­la­tory agencies, including the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Commodity Futures Trading Com­mis­sion (CFTC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Cor­po­ra­tion (FDIC), and the Se­cu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion (SEC).

The full joint statement is available on the EC’s Web site. The next FMRD meeting will take place in Brussels, Belgium, in July 2015.


FASB one step closer to finalizing its classification and measurement project

Jan 15, 2015

At its January 14, 2015, meeting, the FASB discussed its project on classification and measurement of financial instruments.

After redeliberating its prior decisions on the cost and complexity of its proposed ASU on recognizing and measuring financial assets and financial liabilities, the Board directed the staff to draft a final ASU for vote by written ballot. Decisions that the FASB made at the meeting included the following:

  • Disclosures about core deposit liabilities — In a reversal of its previous decision, the FASB voted to remove these proposed disclosure requirements.
  • Transition — The FASB voted to reaffirm its tentative decision to require entities to apply a modified retrospective transition approach under which a cumulative-effect adjustment would be made to the statement of financial position as of the beginning of the first reporting period in which the guidance becomes effective.
  • Disclosures about hybrid financial instruments — The FASB voted to issue a new exposure draft (ED) on the proposed disclosure requirements for a 45-day comment period. Under the ED, an entity would be required to disclose the carrying amount and measurement attribute, as well as the financial statement line item in which bifurcated embedded derivatives and related host contracts are presented.

The FASB will discuss the effective date of the final standard at a future meeting. For more information, see the tentative Board decisions on the FASB’s Web site. 

FAF appoints two new trustees

Jan 15, 2015

The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) announced that it has appointed Myra R. Drucker and John Veihmeyer to its board of trustees to replace retiring trustees Luis M. Viceira and Edward E. Nusbaum. The terms of the newly appointed trustees begin immediately and end on December 31, 2019.

The FAF also announced that Ann Marie Petach has been reappointed to the board of trustees for a second three-year term and that Teri L. List-Stoll has resigned from the board as of December 31, 2014 (the vacancy is expected to be filled during 2015).

For more information, see the press release on the FAF’s Web site.

Revenue transition resource group releases meeting agenda

Jan 15, 2015

The FASB and IASB released the agenda for the third meeting of their joint revenue transition resource group (TRG), which will be held on January 26, 2015.

The purpose of the TRG is to seek feedback on potential issues related to implementation of the boards’ new revenue standard. By analyzing and discussing potential implementation issues, the TRG will help the boards determine whether they need to take additional action, such as providing clarification or issuing other guidance.

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

Monday, January 26, 2015

  • Introductory remarks
  • Research project update
  • Identifying promised goods or services
  • Incremental costs to obtain a contract
  • Transition: contract modifications
  • Noncash considerations
  • Stand-ready obligations
  • Islamic financing transactions
  • Collectibility
  • Variable consideration
  • Material rights, considerations payable to a customer, and significant financing component submissions

Agenda papers — including a submission log of issues compiled by staff — for this meeting are available on the IASB's Web site.

SASB publishes exposure drafts on consumption sector sustainability reporting

Jan 14, 2015

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) has released seven proposed sustainability accounting standards for the consumption sector.

The proposed standards apply to the following industries:

  • Agricultural products.
  • Meat, poultry, and dairy.
  • Processed foods.
  • Nonalcoholic beverages.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Tobacco.
  • Household and personal products.

Comments on the proposed standards are due by April 14, 2015.

For more information, see the proposed standards on the SASB’s Web site.

SEC publishes examination priorities for 2015

Jan 13, 2015

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations has published its examination priorities for 2015. The priorities focus on “protecting retail investors, especially those saving for or in retirement; assessing market-wide risks; and using data analytics to identify signs of potential illegal activity.”

The document is not necessarily comprehensive and “may be adjusted in light of market conditions, industry developments, and ongoing risk assessment activities.” 

For more information, see the press release and 2015 examination priorities on the SEC’s Web site.

SEC updates Financial Reporting Manual

Jan 13, 2015

The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance has published an update to its Financial Reporting Manual (FRM) that contains revisions made as of January 12, 2015.

The changes were made in light of the FASB’s November 2014 issuance of ASU 2014-17 on pushdown accounting and the related rescission of SAB Topic 5.J.

For more information, including a complete list and a brief description of the recent changes, see the FRM on the SEC's Web site.

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