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1. FASB changes discontinued operations reporting guidance   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
New guidance issued Thursday by FASB will reduce the number of disposals of assets that should be presented as discontinued operations in organizations’ financial reporting.Only disposals representing a strategic shift in operations that have a major effect on the organization’s operations and financial results will be required to be presented as discontinued operations.

2. No easy answers in key leases standard debate   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) are struggling to find common ground in their efforts to create a converged standard for financial reporting on leases.While meeting together Tuesday at FASB’s headquarters in Norwalk, Conn., the two boards came to different conclusions in preliminary votes on financial reporting guidance for lessees and for lessors.The boards will meet again Wednesday in an effort to resolve their differences and move forward together with the difficult project, which was first placed on their agendas in 2006.

3. FASB to research fair value standard’s relevance for certain investors   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
FASB plans to research concerns about the usefulness of its fair value measurements standard for users of financial statements of employee benefit plans, not-for-profits, and private companies.The concerns arose during a post-implementation review conducted for the board’s parent body, the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF). The review was completed last month.Russell Golden, the FASB chairman, announced the board’s intentions Monday in a letter to the co-chairs of FAF’s Standard-Setting Process Oversight Committee.The review of FASB Statement No.

4. FASB takes step forward in streamlining of disclosures   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
FASB took a step forward Tuesday in its effort to make disclosures in notes to financial statements more useful to investors.The board is building a framework that is intended to reduce unnecessary disclosures and highlight information that investors need most.On Tuesday, FASB issued a proposed concepts statement that would help the board create a process for identifying relevant information—and the limits on information—that should be included in notes to financial statements.If approved, the proposed statement, Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting, Chapter 8: Notes to Financial Statements, would become part of the conceptual framework that provides the foundation

5. FASB endorses private company VIE alternative for lease arrangements   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
FASB voted on Wednesday to endorse a GAAP alternative initiated by the Private Company Council (PCC) that will exempt private company lessees from a requirement to consolidate variable-interest entities (VIEs) in common-control leasing arrangements.The exemption will be allowed only if:The private company lessee and the lessor entity are under common control.The private company has a leasing arrangement with the lessor entity.Substantially all activity between the entities is related to the leasing activity between the lessor and the private company.Any obligation of the lessor that is being guaranteed or collateralized by the private company could, at inception of

6. FASB to focus on targeted GAAP improvements for insurance   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
FASB will consider targeted changes rather than a significant overhaul of U.S. GAAP’s financial reporting requirements for insurance contracts.The board voted Wednesday to consider potential targeted improvements to long-duration insurance contracts. For short-duration contracts, the board will consider targeted improvements that will be focused solely on disclosures.Board members decided not to continue with a comprehensive project on accounting for insurance contracts.

7. Lessors, lessees see difficulties in proposed changes   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Businesses expect difficulties in implementing proposed changes to lease accounting rules, according to a new Deloitte survey.FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have resumed deliberations in the difficult convergence project, which inspired significant opposition after the release of a second exposure draft in May.Final rules could be written in 2014, although FASB Chairman Russell Golden has said he expects changes based on the feedback the boards received.Almost four out of five (79%) executives surveyed by Deloitte said they expect implementation of the proposed changes to be somewhat difficult or extremely difficult.

8. FASB to consider disclosure requirements for government assistance   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Businesses may one day have specific requirements under GAAP for making disclosures in their financial statements about the government assistance they receive, because of a new project that FASB added Wednesday to its technical agenda.Board members said the lack of guidance on disclosure of government assistance leads to a significant shortcoming in financial statements.

9. Financial instruments convergence in doubt after FASB decisions   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
FASB took what appears to be two steps back from convergence with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) last week with a pair of major tentative decisions in its project on accounting for financial instruments.In the classification and measurement portion of the project, the board decided not to continue to pursue its proposed “solely payment of principal and interest (SPPI)” model to determine the classification and measurement of financial assets.The fundamental principles of FASB’s proposed SPPI model were aligned with the IASB’s model, although the boards already differed in other areas on classification and measurement.FASB instead decided

10. AICPA groups seek consistency in insurance contract standards   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
Comment letters to accounting standard setters submitted jointly by an AICPA committee and expert panel urge convergence on at least some critical issues in financial reporting rules for insurance contracts.The AICPA Financial Reporting Executive Committee and Insurance Expert Panel advised FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) that high-quality accounting standards should not be sacrificed in the name of convergence.
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