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IASB/FASB Joint Discussions: Convergence

Date recorded:

The IASB and FASB discussed a common proposed strategy for a convergence project. The following short- and long-term strategies were proposed:

Strategy for short-term convergence project(s): The IASB is in the midst of a project to update and improve IAS that would eliminate many existing differences between FASB and IASB GAAP, but that would create some new differences. FASB has recently issued several pronouncements that have also caused differences. This phase of the convergence project would attempt to reduce or eliminate those differences. Certain differences in FASB and IASB GAAP that have existed for a longer period of time would also be addressed in the short-term phase of this project. Issues for convergence on a short-term basis include:

  • IAS 11, Construction Contracts
  • IAS 19, Employee Benefits (aspects other than post-employment benefits)
  • IAS 24, Related Party Disclosures
  • IAS 29, Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies
  • IAS 34, Interim Financial Reporting
  • IAS 40, Investment Property
  • IAS 41, Agriculture

Long-term strategy: Both Boards have undertaken a number of major projects with convergence as one of the objectives of the projects. Examples include performance reporting, revenue and liabilities, and business combinations. The long-term strategy of this project would require further coordination regarding agenda setting and resource allocation with a goal of achieving convergence in the major projects over the next several years.

The Boards discussed criteria that might be adopted to identify candidates for the short-term convergence project. Examples include:

  • Likelihood of quickly reaching agreement on the change (this might include some issues that are considered to be part of another longer-term agenda project of one or the other of the Boards).
  • Recency of adoption of the standard that caused the conflict between IASB and FASB GAAP.
  • Frequency of occurrence as an IAS/US GAAP reconciling item (for instance in SEC filings).
  • Monetary magnitude as a reconciling item.
An informal vote indicated that virtually all members of both Boards support pursuing the short-term project.

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