The Financial Accounting Standards Board and its overseas counterpart, the International Accounting Standards Board, have formed a new joint working group on performance reporting.

The group has been set up to help the boards in their joint project to establish standards for the presentation of information in financial statements that would improve the usefulness of that information in assessing the financial performance of an enterprise.

The working group consists of 24 members, including Peter R. Bible, chief accounting officer of General Motors Corp.; Gregory Jonas, managing director of Moody's Investors Service; Michael P. Krzus, a director at Grant Thornton LLP; Patricia McConnell, senior managing director of Bear Stearns; and Wolfgang H. Reichenberger, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Switzerland-based Nestlé SA.

Previously, FASB and the IASB conducted separate projects on the topic, but suspended their separate projects in late 2003 and agreed in the interests of convergence to conduct a joint project in April 2004.

The IASB said that while all types of entities are within the scope of the project, the boards haven't appointed representatives from financial institutions in the preparer category to the working group, because they decided that the reporting needs of financial institutions should be considered separately from those of other sectors. The boards plan to set up a subgroup to examine the reporting needs of financial institutions.

Official observers of the working group include the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, and the IASB Financial Instruments and Insurance Working Group.

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