FASB Revises Accounting Guidance For Variable Interest Entities

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has published a revision to Interpretation 46 ("46R") to clarify some of the provisions of FASB Interpretation No. 46, Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities, and to exempt certain entities from its requirements. The additional guidance is being issued in response to input received from constituents regarding certain issues arising in implementing Interpretation 46.

Under the new guidance, special effective date provisions apply to enterprises that have fully or partially applied Interpretation 46 prior to issuance of this revised Interpretation. Otherwise, application of Interpretation 46R (or Interpretation 46) is required in financial statements of public entities that have interests in structures that are commonly referred to as special-purpose entities for periods ending after December 15, 2003. Application by public entities, other than small business issuers, for all other types of variable interest entities is required in financial statements for periods ending after March 15, 2004. Application by small business issuers to variable interest entities other than special-purpose entities and by nonpublic entities to all types of variable interest entities is required at various dates in 2004 and 2005. In some instances, enterprises have the option of applying or continuing to apply Interpretation 46 for a short period of time before applying this revised Interpretation.

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