The Financial Accounting Standards Board has proposed an overhaul of the board's structure that would cut the number of members of the board from seven to five and allow the chairman to put items on the agenda.
The five board members would come from at least four different backgrounds: investing, auditing, preparing corporate financial statements internally, and academia, according to The New York Times. The fifth member would be a kind of wild card and could come from any of those backgrounds. The changes would also give the FASB chairman the authority to decide which items get on the agenda. Right now, the board votes to decide on the agenda items.
The changes would also give more responsibility to the Financial Accounting Foundation, the parent of FASB and its sister organization, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. The foundation would need to adopt a more active oversight role and would oversee additions to the agenda. "The trustees are looking to enhance their oversight of both the FASB and the GASB," said Terri Polley, interim chief operating officer at the FAF. "They have proposed additional authority for both the FASB chair and the GASB chair. They would have decision-making authority over the technical agenda."
The next chairman of the foundation would have to spend between a third and half of their time on foundation activities.
Polley noted that one of the main reasons for the proposed change was the convergence process between International Financial Reporting Standards and U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.
"They believe this will allow them to be more responsive and to help facilitate convergence and to keep pace with the changing environment," she said.
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