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Year in review — 2015

Dec 30, 2015

US GAAP Plus turned two in September and we spent the year refining our content and devoting even more resources to bringing you comprehensive coverage of all things U.S. GAAP, IFRS, and other financial reporting topics.

We added the popular U.S. GAAP/IFRS comparisons, which highlight the key differences between the two sets of accounting standards for 19 subject areas (and counting!). Our overall visitor numbers grew ex­po­nen­tially and many visitors also followed our @De­loit­teAc­ctg Twitter handle to receive regular updates about the wealth of fi­nan­cial re­port­ing in­for­ma­tion in­cluded on US GAAP Plus and other Web sites.

Overall, our most popular pages remain our ac­count­ing stan­dards sum­maries, but we contin­ue to witness strong demand for our news, pub­li­ca­tions, re­source pages, and project sum­maries.

Our 10 most popular stories of 2015
  1. FASB simplifies guidance on presentation of debt issuance costs (April).
  2. FASB issues ASU to simplify accounting for cloud computing fees paid by customers (April).
  3. FASB issues ASU to conform guidance on pushdown accounting to SAB 115 (May).
  4. FASB issues ASU on employee benefit plans (July).
  5. FASB updates its consolidations requirements (February).
  6. FASB issues ASU simplifying balance sheet classification of deferred taxes (November).
  7. FASB issues final ASU clarifying SEC’s position on presentation of debt issuance costs (August).
  8. FASB proposes to simplify equity method accounting (June).
  9. SEC chief accountant comments on IFRSs in the United States and convergence (May).
  10. FASB issues two final ASUs and one proposed ASU based on EITF Issues (May).
Our 10 most popular publications of 2015
  1. Revenue from contracts with customers: A roadmap to applying the guidance in ASU 2014-09 (February).
  2. SEC comment letters — Including industry insights: What “Edgar” told us (October).
  3. Heads Up — FASB amends its consolidation model (May).
  4. Heads Up — FASB simplifies guidance on presentation of debt issuance costs (June).
  5. A roadmap to accounting for income taxes (January).
  6. A roadmap to accounting for share-based payment awards (April).
  7. Heads Up — FASB tentatively decides to defer the new revenue standard for one year (April).
  8. Heads Up — FASB and IASB tentatively decide to clarify the new revenue standard (February).
  9. Heads Up — FASB preparing to issue "new" classification and measurement guidance (February).
  10. Heads Up — FASB issues ASU on customers' accounting for cloud computing costs (April).

We wish you a happy and safe New Year. We look forward to bring­ing you the latest finan­cial re­port­ing news in 2016.

SEC reports improvements in NRSRO compliance

Dec 28, 2015

The SEC has issued two annual staff reports that summarize the SEC staff’s analysis of nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (NRSRO).

The reports show that NRSROs have increased their compliance with federal securities laws and developed enhancements in accountability, controls, and governance since last year's report. Also, the reports noted that certain smaller NRSROs have increased their market share in asset-back securities credit ratings.

For more information, see the press release, Annual Examination Report, and the Annual Report to Congress on the SEC’s Web site.

GASB issues guidance on investment pools

Dec 28, 2015

The GASB has issued Statement No. 79, “Certain External Investment Pools and Pool Participants,” that permits certain external investment pools to use amortized cost to measure pool investments. The guidance in State­ment 79 is in response to changes in SEC's Rule 2(a)-7 of the Investment Company Act of 1940, which become effective in April 2016.

State­ment 79 is effective for reporting periods beginning after June 15, 2015, except for certain provisions on portfolio quality, custodial credit risk, and shadow pricing. Those provisions are effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2015. Early application is encouraged.            .

For more in­for­ma­tion, see the press release and Statement 79 on the GASB’s Web site.

GASB issues three exposure drafts

Dec 22, 2015

The GASB has issued for public comment three exposure drafts (EDs), (1) “Fiduciary Activities,” (2) “Certain Asset Retirement Obligations,” and (3) “Pension Issues.”

According to the press release on the GASB’s Web site:

  • The ED on fiduciary activities “would establish guidance regarding what constitutes fiduciary activities for financial reporting purposes, the recognition of liabilities to beneficiaries, and how fiduciary activities should be reported. The proposed Statement would apply to all state and local governments.” Comments are due by March 31, 2016.
  • The ED on certain asset retirement obligations “would establish guidance for determining the timing and pattern of recognition for liabilities related to asset retirement obligations and corresponding deferred outflows of resources. An asset retirement obligation is a legally enforceable liability associated with the retirement of a tangible capital asset, such as the decommissioning of a nuclear reactor.” Comments are due by March 31, 2016.
  • The ED on pension issues “addresses practice issues raised by stakeholders during the implementation of Statements No. 67, Financial Reporting for Pension Plans, and No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions.” Comments are due by February 12, 2016.

FASB discusses financial instruments

Dec 22, 2015

At its December 21, 2015, meeting, the FASB discussed its financial instruments projects on (1) impairment and (2) hedging. The FASB also announced that it will issue a final ASU on the recognition and measurement of financial instruments during the first week of January 2016.

Financial instruments — impairment

The FASB continued redeliberating its project on the credit impairment of financial instruments. Specifically, the Board discussed (1) accounting for purchased financial assets with credit deterioration and (2) treatment of premiums and discounts when measuring credit losses.

For more information, see the meeting minutes on the FASB’s Web site.

Financial instruments — hedging

The FASB decided not to provide private companies with further relief from hedge documentation requirements. The Board directed its staff to (1) draft a proposed ASU, (2) prepare a cost-benefit analysis for the proposed amendments, (3) develop a transition approach, and (4) recommend a comment deadline.

For more information, see the meeting minutes on the FASB’s Web site.

Financial instruments — recognition and measurement

For more information on the FASB's upcoming ASU, see the press release on the FASB's Web site.

Highlights from the FASB’s December 16 meeting

Dec 18, 2015

At its December 16, 2015, meeting, the FASB (1) added two projects to its agenda, (2) discussed the conceptual framework, and (3) endorsed the PCC consensus-for-exposure on identifiable intangible assets. In addition, the FASB (jointly with the IASB) continued to discuss principal-versus-agent guidance related to the revenue standard.

New projects on FASB’s agenda

The FASB decided to add two projects to its agenda:

  • Improving the accounting for nonemployee share-based payment arrangements — During previous deliberations of its overall project on share-based payment simplifications, the Board decided that potential improvements to the nonemployee model could be broader and take longer to complete than other simplification projects. As a result, the Board decided to reconsider the accounting for nonemployee share-based payments as part of a separate research project. For more information, see Deloitte’s related journal entry.
  • Clarifying when not-for-profit entities should consolidate limited partnership (or similar entity) after the adoption of ASU 2015-02 — The FASB staff presented two alternatives for potential consideration, and Board members directed the FASB staff to further research both alternatives. For more information, see Deloitte’s related journal entry.

The FASB decided not to add to its agenda projects on (1) the consolidation of variable interest entities by financial guaranty insurance entities that are subject to specialized accounting in ASC 944 or (2) simplifying the accounting related to attributing net income or loss and comprehensive income or loss to a parent company and noncontrolling interest.

For more information, see the meeting minutes on the FASB’s Web site.

Conceptual framework — measurement

The Board discussed how to determine initial carrying amounts and changes in carrying amounts. For more information, see the meeting minutes on the FASB’s Web site.

FASB endorsement of PCC consensus-for exposure

The FASB has endorsed the PCC’s consensus-for-exposure that removes the effective dates of four Accounting Standards Updates issued in 2014. The FASB staff will prepare a draft of a proposed ASU for a vote by written ballot. For more information, see the meeting minutes on the FASB’s Web site.

Revenue recognition — principal-versus-agent considerations (reporting revenue gross versus net)

The FASB and IASB discussed feedback received on their proposals to clarify certain aspects of the principal-versus-agent guidance in their new revenue standard (ASC 606 and IFRS 15). Respondents generally supported the boards’ efforts to improve the understandability and operability of the standard’s principal-versus-agent guidance. During the meeting, the boards completed their redeliberations and the FASB directed its staff to begin drafting a final ASU for a vote by written ballot.

For more information, see Deloitte’s related journal entry and the meeting minutes on the FASB’s Web site.

Basel Committee issues final guidance on accounting for expected credit losses

Dec 18, 2015

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has issued final guidance on accounting for expected credit losses.

Com­pris­ing 11 fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples, the guidance sets out su­per­vi­sory ex­pec­ta­tions for banks with respect to sound credit risk practices as­so­ci­ated with im­ple­ment­ing and applying an expected credit loss accounting framework.

For more information, see the press release and final guidance on the BIS’s Web site.

FASB releases 2016 U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy

Dec 17, 2015

The FASB has released the 2016 U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy.

The tax­on­omy “is a list of computer-readable tags in eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) format that allows companies to tag precisely the thousands of pieces of financial data that are included in typical long-form financial statements and related footnote disclosures.” The 2016 version of the tax­on­omy “con­tains updates for ac­count­ing stan­dards and other im­prove­ments to the official Taxonomy previously in use by SEC issuers.”

The SEC needs to approve the taxonomy before it becomes official; the Commission is expected to do so in early 2016.

For more in­for­ma­tion, see the press release and tax­on­omy page on the FASB’s Web site.

IASB defers effective date of September 2014 amendments to IFRS 10 and IAS 28

Dec 17, 2015

The IASB has indefinitely deferred the effective date of its September 2014 amendments to IFRS 10, "Consolidated Financial Statements," and IAS 28, "Investments in Associates and Joint Ventures."

The IASB plans to redeliberate the ef­fec­tive date after it has completed its re­search project on the equity method. Early adoption of the September 2014 amendments continues to be permitted.

For more information, see the press release and the amendments on the IASB's Web site.

PCAOB adopts new rules to require disclosure of engagement partner and other audit participants

Dec 16, 2015

The PCAOB has issued a final rule, “Improving the Transparency of Audits: Rules to Require Disclosure of Certain Audit Participants on a New PCAOB Form and Related Amendments to Auditing Standards,” that would require auditors to file a new form, Form AP, in which they disclose (1) the name of the engagement partner, (2) “[t]he names, locations, and extent of participation of other accounting firms that took part in the audit, if their work constituted 5 percent or more of the total audit hours,” and (3) “[t]he number and aggregate extent of participation of all other accounting firms that took part in the audit whose individual participation was less than 5 percent of the total audit hours.”

The rule and amendments are subject to SEC approval. If they are approved by the SEC, the requirement to disclose the engagement partner “will be effective for auditor's reports issued on or after January 31, 2017, or three months after SEC approval of the final rules, whichever is later,” while the requirement to disclose other audit firms participating in the audit “will be effective for reports issued on or after June 30, 2017.”

For more information, see Deloitte's related journal entry as well as the press release and rule and related amendments on the PCAOB’s Web site.

Correction list for hyphenation

These words serve as exceptions. Once entered, they are only hyphenated at the specified hyphenation points. Each word should be on a separate line.