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Update on the current board issues: February 2013

Audit committee issues

 

FASB limits scope of disclosure standard on offsetting assets and liabilities

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) recently amended Accounting Standards Update No. 2011-11, Disclosures about Offsetting Assets and Liabilities. The amendment limits the scope of the new balance sheet offsetting disclosures required under that standard to derivatives, repurchase agreements, and securities lending transactions that they are offset in the financial statements or subject to an enforceable master netting arrangement or similar agreement.

The FASB issued ASU 2011-11 in December 2011. Constituents in a variety of industries raised concerns regarding the potentially broad scope of the new disclosure requirements. In response, the FASB issued ASU 2013-01, Clarifying the Scope of Disclosures about Offsetting Assets and Liabilities, which amends and clarifies the scope of the balance sheet offsetting disclosures.

The amendment is effective for reporting periods beginning January 1, 2013.  In addition to companies with the instruments described above, it affects all companies that have financial instruments with an enforceable master netting arrangement or similar agreement that may have been affected by the new offsetting disclosure requirements.

For more information on this amendment, directors may want to read the following:

 

Private company decision-making framework to be amended

The FASB’s new Private Company Council agreed recently to have the FASB staff amend its proposed private company decision-making framework and added three projects to the Council’s technical agenda.

In this, the council’s second meeting with the FASB, the council also selected additional accounting topics for research, and provided input to the board on current FASB projects on revenue recognition and going concern, and on the Emerging Issues Task Force project on pushdown of new accounting basis.

The language in the framework amendments says that:

  • The framework will explicitly state that a company adopting a modification available to private companies will not be required to adopt all available modifications. The updated draft will also establish an expectation that some modifications may be required to be applied in conjunction with others.
  • The FASB staff will remove the presumption that when industry-specific recognition and measurement guidance exists, it is relevant to users of both public and private company financial statements.

The council and board agreed that the framework will not have to be finalized prior to the council discussing and voting on matters on its technical agenda, or the board deliberating the endorsement of a proposed modification.

In March, the council and board expect to expose the draft framework for public comment for a period of 90 days.

The following projects were added to the council’s technical agenda:

  • Consolidating variable interest entities, specifically when applied to related party arrangements
  • Accounting for “plain-vanilla” interest rate swaps with a single counterparty
  • Recognizing and measuring various intangible assets acquired in business combinations.

The council directed the FASB staff to prepare research papers on stock-based compensation and development stage enterprises. The research will help to inform a decision on whether to add projects on these topics to the council’s technical agenda.

For more information on this Private Company Council meeting, directors may want to read the following from PwC:

In brief: Private Company Council holds its second meeting