FASB EASES VARIABLE INTEREST ENTITY CONSOLIDATION REPORTING FOR PRIVATE COS.

Norwalk, Conn. -- The Financial Accounting Standards Board issued guidance in late March to make it easier for private companies to report on consolidation of variable interest entities.

The new guidance applies to the consolidation of lessors in certain common control leasing arrangements for private companies. It comes in response to recommendations from FASB's sister organization, the Private Company Council, which has also weighed in with recommendations on adjusting the standards on goodwill impairment and interest rate swaps for private companies that were ultimately adopted by FASB. The new guidance in FASB Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-07, Applying Variable Interest Entities Guidance to Common Control Leasing Arrangements, allows a private company to elect - when certain conditions exist - not to apply VIE guidance to a lessor under common control. Instead, the private company would make certain disclosures about the lessor and the leasing arrangement.

 

GASB VOTES AGAINST DELAY IN NEW PENSION STANDARDS

Norwalk, Conn. -- The Governmental Accounting Standards Board voted unanimously in late March not to delay the implementation date of its new pension accounting and financial reporting standards, despite requests from various groups for an indefinite delay. The requirements of GASB Statement No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, are scheduled to take effect for periods beginning after June 15, 2014.

The request to GASB for an indefinite delay in the implementation date came from stakeholder groups that asserted that such a delay is necessary until the related auditing procedures have been implemented for a sufficient period. Constituents expressed concern that governments in multiple-employer pension plans will receive a modified audit opinion on their financial statements in the interim.

Other individuals, organizations and stakeholder groups wrote to GASB requesting that the implementation date of Statement 68 not be changed. Some of these groups urged GASB and other organizations to find a solution that would not delay implementation.

 

AIPCA DEBUTS FORENSIC MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

New York -- The American Institute of CPAs has begun offering a forensic accounting mentorship program. The Certified in Financial Forensics Mentor Program is designed for AICPA members who want to develop their skills and business practices in forensic accounting with the help of more experienced forensic professionals.

Interested CPAs who apply to the program will be paired with mentors who hold the AICPA's Certified in Financial Forensics credential. Mentors will be assigned to protégés based on an individualized model that weighs their specific needs and interests. Mentors will provide guidance and help protégés understand how the financial forensics industry works, while easing their assimilation into the field.

 

FASB, IASB TO RESOLVE LEASE ACCOUNTING DIFFERENCES

Norwalk, Conn. -- The Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board remained at odds over crucial elements of their lease accounting standards after joint meetings in late March, but said that they are still committed to reducing the distinctions.

FASB said it has decided on a dual approach to lessee accounting, with the lease classification determined in accordance with the principle in existing lease requirements - that is, determining whether a lease is effectively an installment purchase by the lessee.

Under this approach, a lessee would account for most existing capital and finance leases as "Type A leases," which recognize amortization of the right-of-use, or ROU, asset separately from interest on the lease liability, and most existing operating leases as "Type B leases," which recognize a single total lease expense.

The IASB, in contrast, decided on a single approach for lessee accounting. Under this approach, a lessee would account for all leases as Type A leases, recognizing amortization of the ROU asset separately from interest on the lease liability.

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