New York -- The American Institute of CPAs has released guidelines to help privately held businesses determine which accounting framework, including the Financial Reporting Framework for Small- and Medium-Sized Entities, best meets their financial reporting needs.

The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy provided input into the development of the new tool for CPAs and businesses. Though NASBA originally advised accountants not to use FRF for SMEs, the two organizations agreed to settle their differences and work together on providing tools and illustrative examples to help accountants and their small-business clients determine when it was appropriate to use a non-GAAP framework such as FRF for SMEs.

At the end of August, the AICPA released a decision tool in the form of a document setting out guidelines, a flow chart and tables for deciding on which framework to use.



Norwalk, Conn. -- The Financial Accounting Standards Board has released the latest version of the U.S. GAAP Taxonomy using the data-tagging technology XBRL, or Extensible Business Reporting Language, which the Securities and Exchange Commission now requires public companies to use with their financial statement filings.

The proposed 2014 U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy is open for public review and comment until the end of October.

The taxonomy contains a list of computer-readable financial reporting labels coded in XBRL, an open-source computer language that allows companies to tag precisely the thousands of pieces of financial data included in typical long-form financial statements and related footnote disclosures. The tags allow users of financial statements to electronically search for, assemble, and process data so that the data can be readily accessed and analyzed by investors, analysts, journalists and regulators.



Norwalk, Conn. -- The Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued a proposal that would exempt many private companies from applying the stringent consolidation guidance under U.S. GAAP to leasing companies under common control. The proposal originally came from FASB's sister organization, the Private Company Council, which is also overseen by the Financial Accounting Foundation, with the task of recommending alterations in accounting standards to make them less onerous for privately held companies.

FASB is asking for feedback on the proposal, and stakeholders are asked to provide comments on the exposure draft for the proposed GAAP alternative, Applying Variable Interest Entity Guidance to Common Control Leasing Arrangements (formerly FIN 46(R) and FAS 167), by Oct. 14, 2013.

The proposal would exempt many private companies from applying variable interest entity guidance to lessor companies under common control. A variable interest entity is a company in which the controlling financial interest is not established based on a majority of voting rights. "This proposal is intended to help lenders and other users better align the information used in assessing the financial position of private companies that prepare financial statements," said FASB Chairman Russell Golden in a statement. "We look forward to receiving feedback on the effectiveness of the proposal from private company stakeholders."

The effective dates will be determined after FASB and the PCC consider the feedback they receive on the exposure draft. Once they receive comments from the public, the PCC and FASB plan to discuss the feedback at a PCC meeting scheduled for Nov. 12, 2013. The PCC will then consider changes to the original proposal and take a final vote before submitting to FASB for a final decision on endorsement.

In August, FASB submitted three other proposals from the PCC to address the concerns about accounting for intangible assets acquired in business combinations, goodwill and interest rate swaps. The variable interest entity proposal was expected to be released soon afterward. The exposure draft and a FASB in Focus summary document are available at


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