The Financial Accounting Foundation plans to host a series of three public roundtables early next year and a live webcast later this month to give constituents an opportunity to provide their feedback on its recent proposal to create a Private Company Standards Improvement Council.
The proposal sparked controversy when it was released last month, with the American Institute of CPAs saying it did not go far enough in establishing a separate standards board for private company accounting independent of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which the FAF oversees (see AICPA Issues Ultimatum on Private Company Accounting Standards). The AICPA has urged its members and state CPA societies to send comments to the FAF pushing for a separate board under the oversight of the FAF, but not beholden to FASB, and has left open the possibility that it might set up such a board or committee on its own.
The AICPA, the FAF and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy set up a Blue Ribbon Panel on Standard Setting at Private Companies in 2009, which released a report early this year calling for a separate board. The FAF issued its proposal last month in response to the Blue Ribbon Panel report, calling for the creation of a council that would be able to identify, propose and vote on changes to U.S. GAAP for private companies, which would then be submitted to FASB for ratification (see FAF Proposes New Council for Private Company Standards). The new council would also be chaired by a FASB member.
NASBA has been more supportive of the FAF plan than the AICPA (see NASBA Backs FAF on Private Company Accounting). However, the FAF wants to do more outreach to gauge reactions from other sources.
The webcast, set for November 18, and the three roundtables, scheduled for next January and February in Atlanta, Dallas, and Palo Alto, will focus on the FAF’s recently issued plan to establish the Private Company Standards Improvement Council.
“The upcoming webcast represents an important opportunity for private company stakeholders to learn more about all the elements of the Foundation’s plan,” said FAF chairman John J. Brennan in a statement. “The roundtables in January and February will enable interested parties to share their feedback and engage in an in-depth dialogue with FAF Trustees on specific recommendations in the plan.”
The live, hour-long webcast (which will offer up to one hour of CPE credit) is scheduled for Friday, November 18, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. EST. The event will feature Brennan and FAF president and CEO Terri Polley, who will provide an overview of the plan and discuss the importance of stakeholder feedback on its specific provisions.
Participants in the live broadcast will have the opportunity to submit questions during the event. A complete CPE course description and registration information are available at www.accountingfoundation.org.
The roundtables will offer interested parties across the country the opportunity for an in-depth, face-to-face discussion of the private company plan with FAF Trustees, and senior FAF and FASB leadership.
Participants will include a variety of stakeholders, including private company officers and financial statement preparers, CPA practitioners, and users of private company financial statements. The roundtables are scheduled for January 18 in Atlanta, Georgia; January 26 in Dallas, Texas; and February 7 in Palo Alto, California. Specific sites and times for the events will be announced in the next few weeks.
Any individual or organization representing private company stakeholders interested in participating in the roundtables should complete and submit an online application form on or before December 16. Those wishing to participate in the roundtables must submit their written comments on the FAF plan by January 6, 2012. Written comments may be sent to Private Company Plan, Financial Accounting Foundation, 401 Merritt 7, Norwalk, Conn. 06856. Comments also may be submitted via email to PrivateCompanyPlan@f-a-f.org.
Anyone interested in observing the roundtables should pre-register for specific sessions. Due to seating limitations, no more than two observers from the same organization will be able to attend. The sessions will be recorded for playback from FAF’s webcast archive.
The plan and additional information is available at www.accountingfoundation.org.
Continuing Professional Education credit earned for the webcast will be determined based on the length of participation in the program, polling questions as described in the CPE eligibility document, and completion of a course survey. Credit is provided only to participants in the live broadcast of this course. Each participant must be registered separately and meet both polling and duration requirements as per NASBA.
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