CARES Act would delay compliance with FASB credit loss standard

By Ken Tysiac

The federal economic stimulus bill designed to offer some relief amid the coronavirus epidemic includes a

delay in the date by which financial institutions are required to comply with FASB’s new accounting standard for credit losses.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, H.R. 748, states that no depository institution, bank holding company, or affiliate thereof will be required to comply with FASB’s credit losses standard until the earlier of:

  • The date on which the national emergency declared by President Donald Trump terminates; or
  • Dec. 31, 2020.

The Senate passed the bill on Wednesday by a 96–0 vote; the House is expected to vote on the bill on Friday.

FASB Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments — Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments, was designed in response to the financial crisis that began in 2008. The standard requires a more forward-looking approach to expected loan losses and the reserves banks hold as a cushion against those potential losses.

FASB’s effective date for the standard for SEC filers is for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2019, except for smaller reporting companies, whose effective date is for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2022. The standard’s effective date for all other entities is for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2022.

If the CARES Act passes, the move would represent an unprecedented (although temporary) override by the federal government over a requirement issued by FASB, a private, not-for-profit organization that sets accounting rules at the behest of the SEC.

For more news and reporting on the coronavirus and how CPAs can handle challenges related to the outbreak, visit the JofA’s coronavirus resources page.

Ken Tysiac (Kenneth.Tysiac@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA’s editorial director.

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