Discussion paper on Conceptual Framework

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06 Jul 2006

As a first step in their joint project on the Conceptual Framework of financial reporting, the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the IASB have each published and invited comment on a discussion paper setting out their preliminary views on: the objective of financial reporting, and the qualitative characteristics of decision-useful financial information. This discussion paper includes drafts of the first two chapters of a new Conceptual Framework that will guide the two Boards in developing accounting standards.

The preliminary views restate the existing frameworks' definition of the objective of general purpose external financial reporting as providing information that is useful to present and potential investors and creditors and others in making investment, credit and similar resource allocation decisions. The document also identifies relevance, faithful representation, comparability (including consistency) and understandability among the characteristics of financial information that make it decision-useful. Some details:


  • Press release: Click to Download (PDF 37k).
  • How to obtain: Printed copies of the Discussion Paper can be ordered from the IASB. A PDF version will be available for download from the IASB's Website starting 17 July 2006. FASB has already posted the document on Its Website.
  • Title of the document: Preliminary Views on an improved Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting: The Objective of Financial Reporting and Qualitative Characteristics of Decision-useful Financial Reporting Information.
  • Comment deadline: 3 November 2006.
  • Next step: Exposure draft of the two chapters some time in 2007.
  • Additional steps: The project is being addressed in phases, as follows:
    • Phase A: Objectives and qualitative characteristics
    • Phase B: Elements: Recognition and measurement attributes
    • Phase C: Initial and subsequent measurement
    • Phase D: Reporting entity
    • Phase E: Presentation and disclosure
    • Phase F: Status of Framework in GAAP hierarchy
    • Phase G: Applicability to not-for-profit
    • Phase H: Reconsideration of entire Framework



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