The Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board provided a progress report Thursday on the latest timeline for their major convergence projects.
The two boards have been extending the timeline repeatedly in recent months and said last fall that they would concentrate on finishing up three major convergence projects—financial instruments, revenue recognition and leasing—by mid-2011 and put the others on the back burner (see FASB and IASB Rejigger Convergence Plans). Earlier this month, in a podcast, FASB chair Leslie Seidman and IASB chairman Sir David Tweedie said they would need to add a few extra months to the timetable (see FASB and IASB Delay Convergence Timeline—Again). They now say they will complete those three projects by the end of the year.
On Thursday, they published a progress report on their joint work and said they had nevertheless made substantial progress toward completion of the convergence program. Since their previous progress report last November, they said they had completed five projects. They plan to issue new standards in the next few weeks on consolidated financial statements (including disclosure of interests in other entities), joint arrangements and post-employment benefits. Both boards said they would also issue new requirements for fair value measurement and the presentation of other comprehensive income.
“The progress report highlights the many areas where we have already improved and converged our standards, and our plans for completion of the priority projects,” Seidman said in a statement. “We have also clarified our plan to continue to engage stakeholders in the remaining steps of the process, and give them an opportunity to review the draft standards before they are finalized.”
FASB and the IASB reported that they have also made substantial progress toward completion of the three remaining projects in their memorandum of understanding, covering financial instruments accounting, leasing and revenue recognition, along with their joint project to improve and align U.S. and international insurance accounting standards. But the two boards said they have agreed to extend the timetable for the remaining priority convergence projects beyond June 2011 to permit further work and consultation with stakeholders to allow more time for an open and inclusive due process.
The convergence projects on financial instruments, revenue recognition and leasing are now targeted for completion in the second half of 2011. However, the U.S. insurance standard, which has not yet been exposed for public comment, is targeted for completion in the first half of 2012.
“Today we are reporting further substantial progress on our work to improve and align international and U.S. accounting standards, while providing additional time to finalize the remaining convergence projects,” said Tweedie. “The convergence program continues to raise the standard of financial reporting worldwide, delivering much-needed improvements in key areas and providing a solid platform for global high quality standards.”
Tweedie will be retiring after completing his second term as IASB chairman at the end of June. His successor will be former Dutch finance minister Hans Hoogervorst.
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