FASB tweaks CECL and financial instruments standards

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board released an accounting standards update Monday that makes some narrow improvements to different aspects of the financial instruments guidance, including the current expected credit losses, or CECL, standard issued by FASB in 2016.

The standards update is part of FASB’s ongoing Codification improvement project, whose goal is clarifying particular parts of the accounting guidance to help avoid unintended consequences. The items in that project typically aren’t expected to have a major impact on current accounting practice or lead to significant administrative costs for most organizations.

“The FASB decided to issue this financial instruments ASU separate from other Codification improvements to increase stakeholder awareness of the changes and to expedite the improvement process,” said FASB Chairman Russell G. Golden (pictured) in a statement Monday. “It addresses areas brought to our attention by stakeholders, and it represents our ongoing commitment to support a successful transition to our standards.”

Among the improvements in the standards update, it clarifies that all nonpublic companies and organizations are required to provide certain fair value option disclosures. Other areas involve the applicability of the portfolio exception to non-financial items, disclosures for depository and lending institutions, and several cross-references and interactions among various topics and subtopics within the FASB Codification.

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