FASB proposes to tweak CECL standard

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board released a proposed accounting standards update Monday to amend the transition requirements and scope of the credit losses standard that it issued in 2016.

One of the changes involves a timing problem for when the current expected credit losses, or CECL, standard takes effect. Private banks and credit unions would have been forced to adopt the standard at the same time as public companies, instead of the 12-month delay usually given to private companies by FASB. The board voted to propose the change late last month (see FASB adjusts CECL deadline for private banks).

The proposal would mitigate some of the complexity of the transition by requiring entities other than public business entities to implement it for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2021, including interim periods within those fiscal years. That change would align the implementation date for their annual financial statements with the implementation date for their interim financial statements. Publicly traded companies that are SEC filers are supposed to implement the standard for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2019, and for public companies that aren't SEC filers after Dec. 15, 2020.

The proposed update would also clarify that receivables arising from operating leases are not within the scope of the credit losses standard, but instead should be accounted for in accordance with the leases standard.

The proposed ASU addresses areas of uncertainty brought to our attention by our stakeholders,” said FASB Chairman Russell G. Golden in a statement. “It is intended to reduce transition complexity and represents our ongoing commitment to support a successful transition to our standards.”

FASB is asking for comments on the proposal to be submitted by Sept. 19, 2018.

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CECL Accounting standards Russell Golden FASB