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FASB Channels EITF Proposals, One to Fix Bank Bailouts

Tammy Whitehouse | April 20, 2012

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has proposed three separate updates to accounting standards recommended by its Emerging Issues Task Force, one of which is meant to better explain government intervention to save a failed bank.

In the update to Topic 805, Business Combinations, in the Accounting Standards Codification, FASB proposes a clarification meant to assure that banks receiving government assistance use consistent measurement approaches for reporting the value of that assistance in all financial reporting periods.

EITF studied the issue and determined banks are following different approaches to measure indemnification assets at the outside of the government bailout when there's a change in cash flow related to the asset in subsequent periods. EITF and FASB say any amortization or writedown of changes in value in subsequent periods should be limited to the contractual terms of the bailout. FASB says it will establish an effective date after it reviews comment letters and finalizes the update.

In a second EITF proposal, FASB wants to update ASC Topic 230 for not-for-profit entities to address differences in how such entities classify cash receipts that arise from the sale of donated securities. Some classify such receipts as investing cash inflows while others classify them as operating or financing cash flows. FASB's proposal provides some guidance on when each classification would be appropriate based on some criteria involving whether there are restrictions on the donation and how long the securities are held before sold.

The third proposal addresses ASC Topic 926, Entertainment, to shore up some differences in how companies apply fair value measurement to impairment testing of unamortized film costs compared with how fair value measurement is applied elsewhere in financial statements.

All three proposals are open for comment through July 16.