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Big Issues On Tap For FASB, IASB

Mar 4th 2009
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Of all the FASB and IASB meetings on tap this week, the one which may have the most profound and lasting impact may be Thursday’s meeting of the Financial Crisis Advisory Group, a high level advisory group formed jointly by the FASB and IASB in late 2008 which began meeting this year. FCAG is co-chaired by Hans Hoogervorst, Chairman of the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), the Dutch securities regulator and Harvey Goldschmid, former Commissioner of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and FCAG's members include a number of current and former regulators and other experts.

At this week's meeting, FCAG is not only slated to discuss issues relevant to the current credit crisis like fair value accounting, consolidation and derecognition, but will also consult on issues that can have lasting consequence to the fundamental governance and due process of the FASB and IASB. See FCAG’s March 5 agenda/discussion paper.

Other FASB, IASB meetings set for this week
FASB is holding a public roundtable on Friday, March 6 to discuss its proposed changes to the disclosure of loss contingencies under FAS 5, Accounting for Contingencies. FASB received a total of 240 comment letters on its proposal last year to amend FAS 5, with many voicing concern over proposed disclosures relating to litigation contingencies, particularly due to concerns about the impact of such disclosures (and related audit work beneath those disclosures) as potentially threatening attorney-client privilege and work-product privilege, and potentially weakening a companies position in litigation.

The FASB Board will meet on Wednesday March 4 to discuss issues relating to its proposed amendment of FAS 140, Transfers of Assets, (relates to securitizations and other transfers of assets) and to consider comments received on, and whether to finalize proposed FAS 133 Implementation Issue No. C22, “Exception Related to Embedded Credit Derivatives.” Read more in FASB’s Board Handout.

IASB’s IFRIC (International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee) will meet on Thursday March 5. IFRIC performs a similar interpretive function to FASB’s Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF). IFRIC’s March 5 agenda (see related materials) includes customer related intangible assets, equity method accounting, puttable and perpetual instruments, derecognition of financial assets, fair value in inactive markets, and more.

Next Up: Interim Fair Value Disclosures?
March 2nd was the comment deadline on a Proposed FASB Staff Position: Proposed FSP No. 107-a and APB 28-a, Interim Disclosures About Fair Value of Financial Instruments. Given the proposed effective date is March 15, FASB is likely to take up this issue (consideration of comment letters and a decision whether to finalize the FSP as proposed or with amendments) soon.

SEC Approves FASB Support Fee
On March 3, the SEC issued an Order Regarding Review of FASB Accounting Support Fee For 2009 Under Section 109 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

Want more details on the above topics? Read more here.