Highlights


  The SEC extended by two months the comment period for its proposed road map for the adoption of IFRS for U.S. issuers. The comment period for the proposed road map, which was published Nov. 14, was originally scheduled to close Feb. 19. In a rule proposal, the SEC said the new deadline for comments is April 20.

A review of the comment letters published on the SEC Web site showed numerous requests for an extension of the comment period so that stakeholders would have more time to study the issues involved.

“This action will allow interested persons additional time to analyze the issues and prepare their comments,” the rule proposal says. To comment or for more information, visit www.sec.gov/spotlight/ifrsroadmap.htm.

The deadline extension comes as Mary Schapiro takes control of the regulatory agency from former SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. In a Senate hearing prior to being sworn in, Schapiro expressed concerns with the SEC’s current road map for transitioning U.S. public companies to IFRS. Schapiro pointed to potential problems including lack of consistency in the application of IFRS, the cost for U.S. companies to switch to IFRS from U.S. GAAP and the independence of the International Accounting Standards Board.

  FASB released a proposal that would amend FASB Statement no. 107, Disclosures about Fair Value of Financial Instruments, to include disclosure requirements about the fair value of financial instruments in interim financial statements and in annual financial statements. The proposal also would amend APB Opinion no. 28, Interim Financial Reporting, to require those disclosures in all interim financial statements.

FASB described the changes as a way to address, in the interim, concerns raised about the lack of comparability resulting from the use of different measurement attributes for financial instruments. Board members decided that increasing the frequency of the disclosures about fair value would improve the transparency and quality of information provided to users.

Comments were due by March 2. The requirements would be effective for interim and annual reporting periods ending after March 15, 2009. The proposal does not require disclosures for earlier periods presented for comparative purposes at initial adoption. The proposal is available at http://tinyurl.com/d6wzkr.

  The AICPA Board of Directors in February extended Barry Melancon’s term as president and CEO for an additional five years. “Barry has made an enormous contribution to the CPA profession over the past 14 years, and the board is exceptionally pleased that he will continue to serve as president and CEO,” Board Chairman Ernie Almonte said in a news release.

Almonte added that under Melancon’s leadership, the AICPA has strengthened the profession’s voice in public policy debates, fortified the profession’s role in business, finance and capital markets, increased the number of accounting students, created centers for audit quality, implemented the computerized CPA exam, launched a national effort to address financial illiteracy and successfully relocated and streamlined its operations.

“It is a great honor to serve our 350,000 members,” Melancon said in the release. “Our members collectively adhere to the highest standards of ethics and values, and being a part of the leadership team that works for them is a privilege. We have a tremendous team at the AICPA that strives every day to meet the needs of the CPA profession.”

With 30 years of experience in the CPA profession, Melancon represents the Institute with state, national and international organizations. He also serves as the profession’s leading advocate with national leaders, lawmakers and regulatory officials.

Prior to joining the AICPA as president and CEO in July 1995, Melancon served for eight years as executive director of the Society of Louisiana CPAs.

  The Professional Accountants in Business Committee of the International Federation of Accountants has developed a sustainability framework. The Web-based framework tool is designed to support professional accountants and their organizations in integrating a sustainable way of thinking and working in all business processes. The framework illustrates how a commitment to sustainability can help improve an organization’s products or services, motivate its people, lower its costs and enhance its reputation. The framework is available for free at www.ifac.org/PAIB.

  The revised and updated version of GASB Concepts Statement no. 2, Service Efforts and Accomplishments Reporting, is now available for purchase. The statement was first issued in 1994. The revised statement includes amendments made to the document by GASB Concepts Statement no. 3, Communication Methods in General Purpose External Financial Reports That Contain Basic Financial Statements, and Concepts Statement no. 5, Service Efforts and Accomplishments Reporting—an Amendment of GASB Concepts Statement no. 2.

The revised concepts statement costs $19.50 and can be ordered at www.gasb.org or by calling 800-748-0659.

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