The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) released for comment an exposure draft of a concepts statement that the board says identifies and clarifies conceptual issues for it to consider when deliberating measurement standards in the future. Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Concepts, Measurement of the Elements of Accrual-Basis Financial Statements in Periods After Initial Recording (tinyurl.com/32oje4c), does not propose changes to existing standards. A statement resulting from the ED would be the seventh in FASAB’s series of concepts statements setting forth objectives and fundamentals on which financial accounting and reporting standards will be based.
The concepts statement addresses the measurement of the elements of accrual-basis financial statements of federal government entities in periods after amounts are initially recorded.
The principal question addressed in the ED is whether and under what circumstances it might be more useful for users’ decision making to report an asset or liability in periods after its acquisition or incurrence (a) at the amount initially recorded, subject to appropriate adjustments for amortization, depreciation or depletion (“initial amount”—for example, historical cost) or (b) at an amount measured at each financial statement date (“remeasured amount”—for example, fair value). The advantages and disadvantages of each approach and of different measurement attributes, such as fair value, settlement amount and replacement cost, are discussed in relation to the financial reporting objectives and qualitative characteristics identified in Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Concepts no. 1, Objectives of Federal Financial Reporting (tinyurl.com/2uvwdr7).
Comments are due Nov. 30. The ED and the specific questions for respondents are available at fasab.gov/exposure.html.
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