Accounting


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FASB issues Statement no. 150, Accounting for Certain Financial Instruments with Characteristics of both Liabilities and Equity (available for download at www.fasb.org/FAS150.shtml ), to improve the accuracy of securities issuers’ accounting for such financial instruments. Earlier guidance allowed companies to classify as equity instruments possessing debt-like attributes. But the new statement—effective for financial instruments entered into or modified after May 31—establishes standards requiring financial reports to present such items as liabilities. For earlier transactions, it takes effect at the start of the first interim period beginning after June 15. Nonpublic entities’ mandatorily redeemable financial instruments, however, are subject to the new provisions in the fiscal period beginning after December 15. Printed copies of the statement are available for $14.50 each from FASB at 800-748-0659.

The Securities and Exchange Commission releases Staff Accounting Bulletin (SAB) no. 103, Update of Codification of Staff Accounting Bulletins, after comprehensively removing obsolete material for the first time in more than 20 years ( www.sec.gov/news/press/2003-61.htm ). In doing so, the commission laid the groundwork for its plan to eventually make the entire collection of SABs available on the SEC Web site.

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