The look ahead: FASB priorities, IASB investment company standards, and consumer confidence


FASB Chairman Leslie Seidman will discuss the board’s priorities for 2012 on Monday, and FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) are gathering to discuss proposed standards updates for investment companies and real estate investment property next Friday. Also, several key reports will gauge U.S. consumer confidence. Here’s a closer look at the week ahead.

Seidman to give FASB outlook

Private company initiatives and nonprofit accounting will be among the topics of FASB Chairman Leslie Seidman’s live, hourlong video webcast beginning at 11:30 a.m. Monday.

The webcast will discuss the board’s priorities for this year. Viewers will have the opportunity to email questions during the webcast, which will be streamed live on FASB’s website.

Seidman will discuss several agenda projects in a busy time for FASB. The standard setter continues to move forward with convergence projects with the IASB on a number of important issues, including leases and revenue recognition.

FASB also is awaiting a decision from its parent organization, the Financial Accounting Foundation, on the issue of whether a separate, independent board should exist to set differences from U.S. GAAP where warranted for private companies.

FASB, IASB to discuss investment company proposals

FASB and the IASB will jointly discuss Proposed Accounting Standards Updates (ASUs) on investment companies and real estate investment property next Friday during public round-table meetings.

Meetings scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. are set to discuss FASB’s Proposed ASU, Financial Services—Investment Companies (Topic 946): Amendments to the Scope, Measurement and Disclosure Requirements, and the IASB exposure draft, Investment Entities.

The morning session also will include a discussion on FASB’s Proposed ASU, Real Estate—Investment Property Entities (Topic 973).

Both sessions will be available by audio webcast through FASB’s website.

U.S. consumer sentiment

Unemployment has been falling in recent months in the U.S., and in the week ahead, we’ll see if that trend is translating into increased confidence among American consumers, whose spending makes up about two-thirds of the nation’s gross domestic product. Two reports will help tell the tale.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau will release retail sales estimates for February. Last month, the government estimated that January sales were 5.8% higher than January 2011.

On Friday, Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan release their preliminary monthly index on consumer sentiment, which last month reached a one-year high.

For a look at upcoming international and management accounting events, visit CGMA Magazine.

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