The Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued for public comment three proposals to address the concerns of private companies about accounting for intangible assets acquired in business combinations, goodwill, and certain types of interest rate swaps under U.S. GAAP.
The proposals came from the Private Company Council, which was set up recently by FASB’s parent organization, the Financial Accounting Foundation, and aim to reduce the costs and complexity for preparers in valuing and accounting, while still providing useful information. FASB indicated last month that it had endorsed the proposals but did not formally release them until Monday (see FASB Backs Proposals for Simplifying Private Company Accounting).
The first proposal—derived from PCC Issue No. 13-01A, Accounting for Identifiable Intangible Assets in a Business Combination—modifies the requirement for private companies to separately recognize fewer intangible assets acquired in a business combination.
The second proposal—derived from PCC Issue No. 13-01B, Accounting for Goodwill Subsequent to a Business Combination—would permit amortization of goodwill (the residual asset recognized in a business combination after recognizing all other identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed) and a simplified goodwill impairment model.
The third proposal—derived from PCC Issue No. 13-03, Accounting for Certain Receive-Variable, Pay-Fixed Interest Rate Swaps—would give private companies, other than financial institutions, the option to use two simpler approaches to accounting for certain types of interest rate swaps that are entered into by a private company for the purpose of economically converting its variable-rate borrowing to a fixed-rate borrowing.
“These proposals are intended to continue to provide users of private company financial statements with decision-useful information, while reducing the costs and complexity for preparers in valuing and accounting for intangible assets acquired in business combinations, goodwill, and certain types of interest rate swaps,” said FASB chairman Russell G. Golden, who took over the role Monday. “We look forward to receiving feedback on the effectiveness of the proposals from private company stakeholders.”
FASB is asking stakeholders to provide comments on the three exposure drafts by Aug. 23, 2013. The effective dates will be determined after FASB and the PCC consider stakeholder feedback on the Exposure Drafts. Following receipt of public comments, the PCC and the FASB will discuss feedback at the September 30 to October 1, 2013 PCC meeting. The PCC will then consider changes to the original proposals and take a final vote before submitting to the FASB for a final decision on endorsement.
During the exposure period, the FASB staff plans to research and analyze whether the proposals should be extended to public companies or not-for-profit organizations—which will be discussed with the board at a future meeting.
Comments can be provided using the electronic feedback form available on the FASB Web site or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, referencing File Reference No. PCC-13-01A, No. PCC-13-01B, or No. PCC-13-03 by August 23, 2013. Written comments should be addressed to: Technical Director, File Reference No. PCC-13-01A, No. PCC-13-01B, or No. PCC-13-03, Financial Accounting Standards Board, 401 Merritt 7, PO Box 5116, Norwalk, CT 06856-5116.
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