Of Roundtables and Private Companies... FASB, FEI Reaching Out...

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As the hot topic of standard-setting for private companies continues to build steam, with the Financial Accounting Foundation continuing its outreach in anticipation of moving toward conclusions on any potential improvements to the process of setting standards for private companies, including a decision on whether or not to adopt the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on private company accounting (see our earlier post on "Big GAAP/Little GAAP: A 'Big Deal'" - FASB announced it is holding roundtables in October at which it seeks the participation of panelists from private companies, to provide feedback about particular accounting standards.

FASB Seeks Private Co. Input at October Roundtables

The purpose of the October roundtables, following on similar roundtables held last year, was described by FASB Chairman Leslie Seidman in FASB's press release as follows:

to engage in a constructive dialogue about private company accounting and reporting issues on existing GAAP with a wide variety of stakeholders, including private companies, their CPA practitioners, and users of private company financial statements

Seidman added:

The [FASB] Board and staff found that the two roundtables we held last fall were valuable forums for hearing first hand from private company constituents about their concerns with existing GAAP. Those roundtables provided the impetus for our efforts to develop a differential reporting framework for private companies and our project to simplify goodwill impairment assessments.

VIEs, Swaps, Fair Value Among Topics
Topics to be addressed at FASB's October roundtables, according to the board, "are expected to include, but will not be limited to, accounting and disclosure requirements relating to:
- variable interest entities,
- interest rate swaps, and
- level 3 fair value measurements

Private company stakeholders (preparers, auditors, users of private company financial statements, and others) interested in being considered as a participant in FASB's October roundtables need to complete this online application form by September 13.

Join FEI's Private Company Roundtable
Speaking of 'roundtables' and private companies, Financial Executives International, an association of senior financial executives, launched an outreach program last year called the "Private Company Roundtable" (PCR).

The PCR, building on the success of FEI's Committee on Private Company Policy, and Committee on Private Company Standards, has met with great success in providing an avenue for private companies to participate in educational, networking, and advocacy opportunities, through conference calls, webcasts and an upcoming Town Hall meeting.

The PCR is open to all interested FEI members, whereas membership in CPC-P, CPC-S and FEI's other national technical committees is more limited.

Participants in FEI's Private Company Roundtable can:
- Join fellow members in quarterly conference calls to discuss important private company topics and hear from high-ranking government officials and technical experts.
- Receive initiations to participate in discussions regarding finance policy issues and critical-interest topics with Congressional members, Administration officials, and senior staffers.
- Provide feedback on business operations and the potential business impact of policies to assist FEI in the formulation of policy positions and strategic education and advocacy efforts.
- Offer support on critical issues through targeted correspondence to policy-makers regarding information that is timely and pertinent to private companies.

FEI Private Company Roundtable's Townhall Sept. 26;
FEI Washington Policy Conference Sept. 26-27
FEI's Private Company Roundtable is hosting its inaugural in-person Town Hall meeting on September 26, in advance of the 2nd annual FEI Washington Policy Conference (of interest to public companies and private companies) on Sept. 26-27. Read more about these programs here.



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