The Financial Accounting Standards Board voted Wednesday to reorganize its future agenda to focus more closely on the issues most important to FASB stakeholders, as it anticipates completion of its remaining four convergence projects for harmonizing U.S. GAAP with International Financial Reporting Standards.

At the meeting, the board also discussed several research projects as part of its prioritization initiative. During Wednesday’s meeting, FASB considered changes not only in its own agenda, but also that of FASB’s Emerging Issues Task Force, or EITF.

FASB voted to add to its technical agenda a project to develop guidance for disclosure requirements related to government assistance.

The board also voted to remove the following projects from the FASB agenda:

•    Emissions Trading
•    Earnings per Share
•    Income Taxes (short-term convergence project)
•    Not-for-Profit Financial Reporting: Other Financial Communications
•    Investment Property Entities
•    Investment Companies: Real Estate Property Investments

The list of active FASB projects is available here.

FASB also voted to remove the following projects from the EITF agenda:

•    Application of the AICPA Audit and Accounting Guide, Investment Companies, by Real Estate Investment Companies (EITF 09-D)
•    Commodity Inventories of Brokers and Dealers (EITF 06-12)
•    Interpretation of Constraining Conditions of a Transferee in a CBO Structure (EITF 03-15)
•    Multiple Foreign Exchange Rates (EITF 10-B)
•    Potential EITF Issues on Application of EITF 99-20 When a Special-Purpose Entity Holds Equity Securities

The list of active EITF projects is available here.

“As our work on joint projects with the International Accounting Standards Board comes to completion over the next year, the board will focus on improving U.S. GAAP for our stakeholders here and abroad,” said FASB chairman Russ Golden in a statement. “Today’s agenda decisions will allow us to direct our resources to financial reporting issues our stakeholders believe are the most important.”

In additionally, Golden decided in consultation with the other board members that FASB would perform research on the following projects:

•    Accounting Issues in Employee Benefit Plan Financial Statements
•    Accounting for Financial Instruments—Hedging
•    Accounting for Financial Instruments—Liquidity and Interest Rate Disclosures
•    Conceptual Framework
•    Financial Statement Presentation
•    Liabilities & Equity: Short-term Improvements
•    Pensions—Cash Balance Plans
•    Simplifications Initiative

At the meeting, it also was decided that the Private Company Council (the group that works with FASB under the auspices of the Financial Accounting Foundation to determine adjustments in accounting standards for privately held companies) should consider doing pre-agenda work on phase two of the “Definition of a Nonpublic Entity” project.

When reorganizing its agenda, FASB was guided by the results of a survey that was completed last year by more than 100 members of various FASB advisory groups and other stakeholders who were asked about future priorities for standard-setting. The group included representatives of a number of different constituencies, including preparers, investors and other financial statement users, auditors, academics, and industry organizations.

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