On December 12, 2012, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), in conjunction with the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), issued a summary of observations from two forums on disclosure effectiveness. The forums were held at Columbia University's Center for Excellence in Accounting and Security Analysis in New York City on October 4, and at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in Stanford, California, on October 8, 2012.
The forums were designed to encourage dialogue among a wide range of financial reporting stakeholders on improving the effectiveness of disclosures in notes to financial statements and other parts of the financial reporting package. The discussion focused on aspects of the FASB's recent Invitation to Comment on a disclosure framework as well as financial reporting issues beyond the scope of that document.
Forum participants - including financial statement preparers and users, corporate board and audit committee members, auditors, attorneys, regulators, standard setters, and academics - provided insight and feedback on a number of topics, including:
- Flexibility of disclosure requirements
- Role of the notes
- Disclosure relevance to investors and creditors
- Effect on the assessment of future cash flows to the investor
- Streamlined disclosure in the current environment
- Prescriptive nature of current accounting guidance
- Overlap of notes and Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A)
- Costs, benefits, and incentives for change
More information, including the summary of the forums and the FASB's Invitation to Comment on the disclosure framework project, is available at www.fasb.org.
SOURCE: December 12, 2012, Financial Accounting Standards Board Press Release