FASB FORMALLY DEFERS FIN 48Norwalk, Conn. - The Financial Accounting Standards Board has released a staff position officially deferring the effective date of FASB Interpretation 48, Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes, for nonpublic pass-through entities and nonprofit organizations until fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2008. When FIN 48 was issued in July 2006, it was supposed to be effective for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2006. Many large companies have adopted it, but smaller organizations, including pass-through entities such as S corps and partnerships, as well as nonprofits, were concerned about how to apply its stringent requirements.

FASB decided in February to defer the effective date to make it apply to annual financial statements for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2007, but many organizations said that they still needed more time and more guidance on applying the standards. As a result, the Private Company Financial Reporting Committee observed that those types of entities showed a general lack of preparedness in applying the requirements of both Statement 109 and FIN 48 by the original effective date.

SEC CHANGES OIL AND GAS ACCOUNTING

Washington, D.C. - The Securities and Exchange Commission has modernized its oil and gas company reporting requirements for the first time in more than 25 years.

The new disclosure requirements permit the use of new technologies to determine proven reserves if those technologies have been demonstrated to lead to reliable conclusions, and will also allow companies to disclose their probable and possible reserves to investors.

The new disclosure requirements also require companies to report the independence and qualifications of a reserves preparer or auditor; to file reports when a third party is relied upon to prepare reserves estimates or conduct a reserves audit; and to report oil and gas reserves using an average price based upon the prior 12-month period, rather than year-end prices. The use of the average price will maximize the comparability of reserves estimates among companies and mitigate the distortion of the estimates that arises when using a single pricing date, according to the SEC.

SEC ENFORCEMENT CHIEF ACCOUNTANT RESIGNS

Washington, D.C. - Susan G. Markel, chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement, is stepping down after 14 years at the agency.

Markel will become managing director in the corporate investigations practice of business advisory firm AlixPartners.

While at the SEC, she participated in bringing several notable enforcement actions, including fraud cases involving Xerox, KPMG, Cendant, WorldCom and Cardinal Health.

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