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Accounting Roundup: First quarter in review — 2016

Published on: Apr 05, 2016

The first quarter of 2016 was a busy one for the FASB. The Board issued its long-awaited standard on accounting for leases, ASU 2016-02, which introduces a lessee model that brings most leases on the balance sheet and aligns many of the underlying principles of the new lessor model with those in ASU 2014-09, the FASB’s new revenue recognition standard. The FASB also released:

  • An ASU that amends the guidance in U.S. GAAP on the classification and measurement of financial instruments.
  • An ASU that clarifies the principal-versus-agent guidance in the Board’s new revenue standard.
  • An ASU that changes the effective date and transition guidance in certain private-company ASUs.
  • An ASU that simplifies the accounting for share-based payments.
  • An ASU that simplifies the equity method of accounting.
  • Three ASUs based on EITF consensuses.
  • Two proposed ASUs related to employee benefit plans.
  • A proposed ASU on certain cash flow classification issues.

On the international front, the IASB issued its own leasing standard, IFRS 16, which brings most leases on the balance sheet for lessees under a single model, eliminating the distinction between operating and finance leases.

In other news, at the 12th annual Life Sciences Accounting and Reporting Congress in Philadelphia, SEC Chief Accountant James Schnurr gave a speech in which he indicated that the SEC staff has observed "a significant and, in some respects, troubling increase . . . in the use of, and nature of adjustments within, non-GAAP measures" as well as their prominence. Mr. Schnurr commented that non-GAAP measures are ntended to "supplement . . . and not supplant" the information in the financial statements.

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