FASB proposes improvements to segment reporting

By Kevin Brewer

FASB issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) on Thursday that is intended to improve disclosures about a public entity's reportable segments and address requests from investors and other allocators of capital for more detailed information about a reportable segment's expenses.

FASB Chair Richard R. Jones said the proposed ASU, Segment Reporting (Topic 280): Improvements to Reportable Segment Disclosures, represents FASB's "most significant change to segment reporting since 1997."

"On the basis of our extensive stakeholder outreach, the proposed ASU would provide investors and other allocators of capital with valuable insights into significant segment expenses, expand segment disclosures reported in interim periods, and require disclosures for single-segment entities," Jones said in a news release.

According to FASB, the key amendments in the proposed ASU would:

  • Require that a public entity disclose, on an annual and interim basis, significant segment expenses that are regularly provided to the chief operating decision-maker (CODM) and included within each reported measure of segment profit or loss.
  • Require that a public entity disclose, on an annual and interim basis, an amount for other segment items by reportable segment and a description of its composition. The other segment items category is the difference between segment revenue less the significant expenses disclosed and each reported measure of segment profit or loss.
  • Require that a public entity provide all annual disclosures about a reportable segment's profit or loss and assets currently required by FASB ASC Topic 280, Segment Reporting, in interim periods.
  • Clarify that if the CODM uses more than one measure of a segment's profit or loss, at least one of the reported segment profit or loss measures (or the single reported measure if only one is disclosed) should be the measure that is most consistent with the measurement principles used in measuring the corresponding amounts in a public entity's consolidated financial statements.
  • Require that a public entity that has a single reportable segment provide all the disclosures required by the amendments in the proposed ASU and all existing segment disclosures in Topic 280.

Stakeholders are encouraged to review and provide comments on the proposed ASU by Dec. 20.

— To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Kevin Brewer at Kevin.Brewer@aicpa-cima.com.

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