The Financial Accounting Standards Board has released FASB Statement No. 165, “Subsequent Events,” setting standards for the disclosure of events that occur after the balance-sheet date, but before financial statements are issued or are available to be issued.

FAS 165 introduces the concept of financial statements being “available to be issued.” It requires the disclosure of the date through which an entity has evaluated subsequent events and the basis for that date—that is, whether that date represents the date the financial statements were issued or were available to be issued. The disclosure should alert all users of financial statements that an entity has not evaluated subsequent events after that date in the set of financial statements being presented. 

In particular, the standard sets forth the period after the balance-sheet date during which management of a reporting entity should evaluate events or transactions that may occur for potential recognition or disclosure in the financial statements; the circumstances under which an entity should recognize events or transactions occurring after the balance-sheet date in its financial statements; and the disclosures that an entity should make about events or transactions that occurred after the balance sheet date.

The new standard should not result in significant changes in the subsequent events that an entity reports—either through recognition or disclosure—in its financial statements, FASB noted.

The standard is effective for interim and annual periods ending after June 15, 2009. Statement 165 can be found online at www.fasb.org.