On May 1, 2002, as leaders of the House Energy Committee put the final touches on a radical reform bill to be titled the "Financial Accounting Standards Board Act," the standards board itself rushed to post a flurry of publications to its Web site.
The Reform Bill
Although the reform bill is still subject to change, Reuters obtained a copy of the discussion draft of the proposed legislation. The current draft would require the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to develop standards for off-balance sheet accounting and special-purpose entities. The FASB (or its agent) would also be required to monitor compliance with standards and refer potential violations to U.S. regulators.
In addition, the reform bill would set up a new government-run, fee-based funding mechanism for FASB. The Secretary of the Treasury would impose and collect the fees and give FASB an annual allowance to pay its bills. In return, FASB would have to report annually to the President, the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Banking Committee. The Comptroller General, head of Congress' General Accounting Office, would conduct an annual performance review on the FASB before its allowance could be disbursed. If the Comptroller General found a performance shortfall, the GAO would advise as to what action should be taken.
Links to the following publications were provided on FASB's Web site on May 1, 2002, but not all were fully functioning at the time this article was published on AccountingWEB's Web site.
- News release announcing the issuance of Financial Accounting Statement No. 145 (FAS 145), "Rescission of FASB Statements No. 4, 44, and 64, Amendment of FASB Statement No. 13, and Technical Corrections."
- News release announcing the issuance of an Exposure Draft (ED), "Amendment of Statement 133 on Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities." Download the ED.
- Link to "Questions and Answers Related to Derivative Instruments Held or Entered into by a Qualifying Special-Purpose Entity" (Q&A on SPEs).
- Link to Financial Accounting Foundation's 2001 annual report. Download the report.