FASB Forges Ahead on Three New Frontiers

At its January 9, 2002 meeting, following a rash of well-publicized complaints about the slowness of the accounting standard-setting process, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) decided to forge ahead on three new frontiers. It tentatively agreed to:

1. Issue for public comment a prospectus for a major project to update the concepts and principles of revenue recognition.

2. Undertake a narrowly-defined project on disclosures about intangibles not recognized in financial statements.

3. Refine and prioritize a whole smorgasbord of initiatives designed to modernize accounting literature and address the issue of standards overload.

In a grueling session described by FASB Chairman Ed Jenkins as the "first full-day meeting in four and a half years," FASB Board members reviewed detailed proposals and alternatives for potential projects on all three frontiers.

Despite some initial reluctance to approve projects that were not as fully-researched or crisply-articulated as desired, the prevailing sentiment at the end of the day was one of realism and a need to move forward. As one Board member said in casting his vote on the intangibles project, "At this point, something is better than nothing."

Learn more about these projects and other potential initiatives that the FASB Board may be considering.

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