New FAF Microsite Celebrates Forty Years of the FASB

By Jason Bramwell
In commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) unveiled a new section of its website that features audio, transcripts, and photos from the FASB@40 Conference that was held in New York City September 12.
The microsite, which launched November 18, also includes a From the President's Desk column from FAF President and CEO Terri Polley, who looks back on the last forty years of the FASB.
Created by the FAF in 1973, the FASB has worked to establish and improve financial accounting and reporting standards in the United States in order to provide decision-useful information to investors and other users of financial reports.
In her opening remarks at the FASB@40 Conference, Polley said, "I want to emphasize that the FAF and the FASB do not take the privilege that you've entrusted to us for granted. We have to continuously earn the right to our status as the independent standard-setting organization in the United States. We strive to do this by demonstrating our competence, our willingness to listen and learn, our ability to modify our thinking, to produce standards that will reflect economic activity fairly, and produce useful information in a cost-efficient manner. Continuous improvement of FASB standards and the process that leads to those standards is what the FASB and the FAF are all about." 
The web pages reflect on the FASB's past, the present standard-setting process environment, and the FASB's role in the future. Some features of the site include:
  • FASB Chairman Russell Golden's goals for the future presented in his closing remarks at the FASB@40 Conference.
  • One-on-one interviews with all the FASB chairs, from 1978 through 2013. Don Kirk, Denny Beresford, Ed Jenkins, Robert Herz, and Leslie Seidman share the challenges they faced during their tenures.
  • Biographies of FASB@40 Conference speakers and their accomplishments as influential leaders in the accounting industry through the years.
The site also features audio and transcripts from each of the following three panel discussions:
  • A Look Back addresses important moments in the FASB's history, including significant standards, the FASB Conceptual Framework, convergence, and the FASB Codification.
  • The Standard-Setting Process addresses issues related to standard setting, including the pros and cons of making changes to US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
  • Future Issues for the FASB discusses major issues that lie ahead for the FASB and new accounting issues on the horizon.
"Our work has not always earned us the top award for popularity. In fact, some folks over the years have said some downright unkind things about us," Golden said during his speech at the FASB@40 Conference. "But in standard setting, seeking to do the right thing is rarely the path to victory in the contest to be the most popular. That's as it should be." 
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