FASB Releases 'Plain English' Statement on Fair Value Actions

On Friday (April 3), the Financial Accounting Stadnards Board released a 'plain English'statement to journalists - supplementing its formal Summary of Board Decisions published on yesterday's FASB actions to finalize guidance on fair value in inactive markets, other-than-temporary-impairment (OTTI), and fair value disclosures.

See also our coverage of the April 2 FASB board meeting and press conference.

Broc Romanek gathered some links to recent coverage of FASB's action in his April 3 blog post in TheCorporateCounsel.net blog, including a link to Jack Ciesielski's AAOWeblog. Ciesielski is a member of FASB's Investors Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC).

My two cents (these are my personal views, I remind you of the disclaimer which appears in the right margin of the this blog): I think some corners of the financial press (print, TV, bloggers and the rest) have unfairly characterized the mark-to-market (fair value) debate into one of good and evil, where some observers view one or the other side of the debate as right or wrong, pushing or being pushed, good or evil.

That kind of coverage may generate 'buzz' but it over-politicizes the reality of what happened in terms of the action taken yesterday by FASB: actions which followed almost a year of public hearings around the world (as noted in FASB's press conference yesterday) including in relation to the financial crisis, as well as SEC's roundtables on mark-to-market, the recommendation that FASB act on fair value and inactive markets and OTTI which was included in SEC's Dec. 30, 2008 report to Congress, and the recommendation of FASB's own Valuation Resource Group at VRG's Feb. 5 meeting. This is not to say whether or not the FSPs are the be-all and end-all of the mark-to-market debate, but just that the actions taken by FASB were moving on a track toward releasing further guidance, but the nature of the push by members of Congress at the March 12 hearing on mark-to-market accounting may have replaced the train with a faster version, an Acela if you will.

I believe it is helpful that FASB put out a 'plain English' explanation of its actions taken, given news reports up to now have taken polar opposite views (and to some extent, probably still will, as people parse and apply the words in the new guidance) as to whether FASB Eases Fair-Value Rules Amid Lawmaker Pressure (Ian Katz, in Bloomberg, April 2) , or whether there will be Little Impact From FASB Fair Value Change: Analyst (Dan Wilchins, Reuters, April 2).

See the UPDATE for more coverage of the fair value/mark-to-market debate. Accounting issues were also addressed in the Leaders Statement released at the conclusion of last week's G-20 meeting, as noted here.

This blog

FEI Financial Reporting Blog provides highlights from SEC, PCAOB, FASB, IASB, and other regulatory news, including reporting under Sarbanes-Oxley Sect 404. It is written by Edith Orenstein, Director of Technical Policy Analysis at FEI

More from this blog

Bloggers crew

Steve Knowles has spent 25 years in business and practice in the UK, but he also worked in the states and the years haven't dulled his way of seeing an alternative view to everyone else, and every day is a new adventure.

44610

Joel M. Ungar, CPA is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area and a graduate of The University of Michigan. He is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC, a Top 15 auditor of SEC public reporting companies.

77207

Allan Boress, CPA, with over 25 years as a practitioner and consultant to the accounting profession. Mr. Boress is the author of 12 published books in 6 different languages, including a best-seller, The "I-Hate-Selling" Book.

49603

Larry Perry, CPA, CPA Firm Support Services, LLC, is the author of accounting and auditing manuals, author and presenter of live staff training seminars, and author of webcast and self-study CPE programs. He blogs about small audits, reviews, and compilations.

90749
Sandra Wiley, COO and Shareholder, is ranked by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting as a result of her prominent role as an industry expert on HR and training as well as influence as a management and planning consultant. She is also a founding member of The CPA Consultant's Alliance. Sandra is a certified Kolbe™ trainer who advises firms on building balanced teams, managing employee conflict and hiring staff.
21518

Maria Calabrese, CIR, Human Resources manager for Fazio, Mannuzza, Roche, Tankel, LaPilusa, LLC in Cranford, New Jersey, Maria's topics revolve around the world of: Mentoring, Performance management, and The "Y Generation," a.k.a. "The whY generation".

56852

William Brighenti is a CPA, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified [Business] Valuation Analyst, operating an accounting, tax, and QuickBooks consulting firm in Hartford, Connecticut, Accountants CPA Hartford.

82011

Ken Garen, CPA, is the co-founder and President of Universal Business Computing Company (www.ubcc.com), a software development firm of high-volume, high-productivity accounting and payroll technology.

25706

Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of TaxMama.com, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.

65416

Amy Vetter, CPA, CITP is the CPA Programs Leader for Intacct Corporation responsible for leading the CPA/BPO Partners nationally.

35193
Brian Strahle is the owner of LEVERAGE SALT, LLC where he provides state and local tax technical services to accounting firms, law firms and tax research organizations across the United States. He also writes a weekly column in Tax Analysts State tax Notes entitled, "The SALT Effect." For more info, visit his website: www.leveragestateandlocaltax.com
104206
Scott H. Cytron, ABC, is president of Cytron and Company, known for helping companies and organizations improve their bottom line through a hybrid of strategic public relations, communications, marketing programs and top-notch client service. An accredited consultant, Scott works with companies, organizations and individuals in professional services (accounting, finance, medical, legal, engineering), high-tech and B2B/B2C product/service sales.
26863

Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor and blogger. She has over 30 years hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology and administrative operations.

53777
Stacy Kildal is the mom of two fantastic kids, an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Enterprise Solutions ProAdvisor, Sleeter Group Certified Consultant, a nationally recognized member of the Intuit Trainer and Writer Network, and co-host of RadioFree QuickBooks.
28781
Michael Alter's blog specializes in providing practical advice to those who seek greater profitability and practice management tactics that enhance deeper client relationships.
33137

Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, leads a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.

102158

The IMA Young Professionals Blog features the insights of IMA’s Young Professionals Committee. Committee members share advice and experiences on careers, continuing education, work/life balance, and other issues affecting young accounting and finance professionals.

34443

FEI Financial Reporting Blog provides highlights from SEC, PCAOB, FASB, IASB, and other regulatory news, including reporting under Sarbanes-Oxley Sect 404. It is written by Edith Orenstein, Director of Technical Policy Analysis at FEI.

113246

Sue Anderson has 30 years of experience in continuing education for accountants. Currently she is the program director for online CPE provider CPE Link.

62346

Jim Fahey is COO of Apple Growth Partners, a regional CPA firm in Ohio. His focus is on the effective and efficient use of technology within the firm by all team members.

40495
Caleb Newquist is the Editor-in-Chief of Sift Media US, overseeing content for both AccountingWEB and Going Concern.
67525

Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGFM, and CGAP is the author of "The Yellow Book Interpreted" and owner of Yellowbook-CPE.com a website devoted to training for governmental auditors.

93619

AccountingWEB is more than just a U.S. team of journalists and financial and technology experts - we have an international side, too! Members of our British team who publish AccountingWEB.co.uk share their ideas, insights, and perspectives from across the pond.

54699