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FASB And Financial Accounting Standards

Below is some of the most recent Compliance Week coverage of FASB provisions and accounting standards and guidance. This coverage including topics such as fair value, FIN 48, FAS 133, accounting for contingencies, and more. Also available is a searchable database of rules, standards and guidance published by FASB and other regulators, including the PCAOB and the SEC.

Revenue Recognition Rules for Bundling Take Effect

January 25, 2011

Companies reporting on a calendar year-end are required to start using new accounting rules for revenue recognition on bundled products or services in 2011. While the new rules may accelerate recognition of revenue, they are complex. "Many underestimate the effort that this is going to take," says Steve Hobbs of consulting firm Protiviti.

Tax Departments in an Uncertain Position

October 12, 2010

America’s largest companies need to start digging into their uncertain tax positions and contemplate how those items will look to a tax auditor on an itemized listing.

Goldman Sheds Some Light on Valuing Illiquid Assets

August 10, 2010

Many accounting and financial reporting executives still wonder how they should report the fair market value of assets that are trapped in frozen or otherwise illiquid markets. Now investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has given a glimpse into how it has approached the problem.

The Future of Comp Committees Under Dodd-Frank

August 10, 2010

Eight years ago, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act piled huge new duties onto corporate audit committees. Now their colleagues on compensation committees are bracing to see whether they’ll suffer the same fate under the Dodd-Frank Act.

Selling Receivables Suddenly Not Such an Easy Move

July 20, 2010

Selling off your old accounts receivable to banks or collections agencies in exchange for cash has long been a nifty way for public companies to strengthen the balance sheet. New accounting rules for asset transfers, however, are about to make that maneuver much harder to do.

Textron Ruling Leaves Tax Compliance Dazed, Confused

June 22, 2010

Auditors and tax executives are reconsidering how best to protect their work analyzing a company’s tax positions following the Supreme Court’s recent refusal to hear a crucial lawsuit on that point.

Tips for Structuring the Compliance Department

June 08, 2010

The structure of corporate compliance departments has become a hot topic lately, thanks in particular to amendments to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines that put a spotlight on compliance officer’s reporting authority and independence.

IRS Brass Explains Reporting of Uncertain Tax Positions

May 04, 2010

The Internal Revenue Service has begun a charm offensive to help defuse tensions about its new plans to require corporations to disclose uncertain tax positions as part of their tax returns.

New Consolidation Rules Flummox Financial Reporting

April 20, 2010

New accounting rules for consolidating business interests took effect at the start of 2010—but companies are still laboring to understand just what they need to add to their financial statements and how to do so.

SEC ‘Repo Probe’ May Hinge on Weak GAAP

April 06, 2010

Companies that transfer assets on or off the balance sheet using repurchase agreements should take a close look at their accounting practices in light of a growing probe into how Lehman Brothers used “repo agreements”—with disastrous results.

Lehman Mess: Bad Intent, or Just Bad GAAP?

March 23, 2010

Lehman Brothers’ collapse into bankruptcy—finally exposed for all to see in a 2,200-page report released earlier this month—is quickly becoming the textbook tale of how mysterious and opaque the U.S. financial system and its accounting have become.

IRS Preps Push to Disclose Uncertain Tax Positions

March 02, 2010

The Internal Revenue Service is gearing up a new campaign to have companies disclose the uncertainty they have about positions they’re claiming on the corporate tax return.

New Glimpse Into M&A Accounting Reassures

February 17, 2010

After some notable angst over whether new accounting rules for mergers and acquisitions might muck up M&A activity, early data suggests public companies aren’t tying themselves into knots seeking workaround solutions.

Risk, Succession Resolutions Gain Popularity

February 09, 2010

Last fall the Securities and Exchange Commission sent a clear signal it would be content to let shareholders propose more resolutions forcing companies to answer awkward questions about risk assessments or CEO succession.

Comment Period Ends for Proxy Access; Now What?

January 26, 2010

The extended comment period for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposal to allow shareholder access to the proxy statement has now closed—and the controversial idea still seems as divisive and unclear as ever.

SEC Cracks Down on Gussied Up M&A Values

January 12, 2010

The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission recently took a subtle but significant swipe at an accounting practice now steadily falling out of vogue: structuring business mergers and other transactions so they look pretty on financial statements.

Boards Brace for Regulatory, Shareholder Storms in 2010

January 05, 2010

A perfect storm of investor anger, regulatory reform, and economic meltdown is hurtling towards the 2010 proxy season—and directors should brace for their own elections to be at the center of the hurricane.

Regulators Advise on New Off-Balance-Sheet Rules

December 15, 2009

New accounting standards are about to take effect that will unmask assets and liabilities that companies have been hiding away off the balance sheet, and regulators are offering tips on how to assure compliance with the spirit of the rules.

Shop Talk: Metrics for Risk, Compliance

December 08, 2009

The following executives participated in the Nov. 17 roundtable on what metrics to use when measuring risk and compliance. The roundtable, held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, was moderated by CW Editor-in-Chief Matt Kelly, and featured Michael Duffy, President of OpenPages. Panelists were encouraged to discuss the challenges they face when measuring risk and what metrics they have employed for top-notch enterprise risk management. The following article provides readers with an in-depth look at their discussion.

Your Checklist of Year-End Close Headaches

December 01, 2009

The economic problems that dogged businesses all year long will hang like a dark cloud over the 2009 year-end close, giving companies good cause for plenty of planning this year to avoid unpleasant audit surprises.

Goodwill Impairments May Return Yet Again

November 24, 2009

A wave of goodwill writedowns in late 2008 and early 2009 may be followed by more in the latter part of this year as companies continue to wrestle with the accounting difference between fair value and book value amid economic uncertainty.

More Guesswork on IFRS Adoption, Convergence

November 24, 2009

A full year after the Securities and Exchange Commission published its proposed roadmap for adopting International Financial Reporting Standards in the United States, those in the financial reporting world must keep waiting for final word on what the SEC plans to do next with IFRS.

Pitfalls Emerge in New Merger Accounting

November 17, 2009

Corporate America has now had nearly a full year to adjust to new rules that radically changed how mergers and acquisitions are accounted for. It’s been a bumpy ride, and at least some companies have found themselves stuck in valuation sinkholes.

Tricky Accounting for Restructuring Debt, Leases

November 10, 2009

Companies restructuring debt and renegotiating leases are sometimes encountering accounting surprises when they explain the new terms to auditors.

Auditors Take Closer Look at Deferred Tax Assets

October 27, 2009

With losses mounting at many companies and forecasts offering scant hope for recovery, auditors are starting to ask hard questions about the deferred tax assets companies are reporting.

New Off-Balance Sheet Rules Not Just for Banks

September 29, 2009

Companies outside the financial services industry may want to pay heed to new securitization rules that, under the surface, extend far beyond bank balance sheets.

SEC Staff Offers Tips, Best Practices for Filers

September 29, 2009

Those tasked with filing their company’s financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission have some helpful tips and best practices for responding to staff requests and comments, courtesy of a Division of Corporation Finance staff member.

Ruling Leaves Companies Exposed to Data Scrutiny

September 15, 2009

Companies may want to reconsider how they assess and document their tax and litigation risks these days, after a federal appeals court ruling that gives potential adversaries unprecedented access to work papers that previously were more protected.

Help Arrives for Fair Value of Liabilities

September 09, 2009

Corporate accounting departments finally have more guidance to help them pin fair-value measurements onto their liabilities—and the guidance reflects a realization that in some cases, the concept of fair value is much simpler than the practical reality.

Know Your Nexus: States Dig Deep for Unpaid Taxes

September 09, 2009

Starving for tax revenue, state governments are turning over every rock in search of unpaid taxes—and they are often finding corporate taxpayers long overdue in filing and telling them to pay up.

GE Restatement: What About the Auditors?

August 25, 2009

General Electric may have settled its accounting dispute with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but questions remain about repercussions for KPMG, the audit firm that gave its blessing to GE’s erroneous accounting.

Accounting Pressure in Obama Regulatory Reform?

July 14, 2009

The Obama Administration’s plans to reform financial regulation pin part of their hopes on changes to accounting rules. Some of those changes, however, harken back to Enron-era tactics for earnings management and may undercut much of the push for transparency seen this decade.

Fair Value Today: Just Document Everything

June 30, 2009

Following a flurry of confusion and demands for guidance on how to measure fair value in the midst of economic chaos, the accounting practice is settling on the immediate solution: document everything.

What Qualities Make a Sound Financial Expert?

Sue Redman K. June 30, 2009

Many audit committee members and chairs are voicing concerns these days about the proper level of financial expertise required to oversee the rapidly changing, and increasingly complex, range of financial issues companies face. How much technical accounting expertise should audit committees have in the current business environment?

Preparing Financial Statements in Codification Era

June 02, 2009

With the adoption of the Accounting Standards Codification structure for accounting rules, financial reporting executives have a new job in front of them: simply assuring they refer to accounting rules correctly.

GAAP Goes Out of Style; Hello Online Codification

May 19, 2009

It may be time for a book burning in the accounting world: the entire library of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles is about to become extinct.

Squeezing Cash Flow From Impairments

May 05, 2009

Companies that are writing down values for their long-lived assets—and with the economy the way it is these days, who isn’t?—should be looking for ways to wring some cash flow out of those impairments.

Mixed Approaches, Mixed Messages, on Financial Reports

April 28, 2009

The financial crisis has brought corporate accounting to a crossroads: the historical-cost method on one side, fair value on the other.

New Disclosures on Pension Plan Assets Coming

April 21, 2009

New guidance from accounting rule makers means employers will have to disclose significantly more information about the potential risks of their pension plan assets than previously required.

Advice for Reporting Non-Controlling Interests

April 14, 2009

As first-quarter earnings reports begin hitting the market, companies with minority interests in subsidiary operations will have some explaining to do when it comes to the balance sheet and the income statement.

Fair-Value Guidance Arrives, Amid Criticism

April 07, 2009

The banking industry now has two powerful new tools in its accounting arsenal to cover up losses from bad loans and make balance sheets look more healthy.

Plans on Reporting Distressed Assets Advance

March 31, 2009

The Financial Accounting Standards Board is drafting new guidance to steer the valuation of distressed assets away from today’s floundering market prices, in an attempt to jumpstart the troubled capital markets by rewriting accounting rules.

Restatements Tumble, as Internal Controls Hit Stride

March 10, 2009

Financial restatements continued their downward march in 2008, giving further credence to the theory that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is improving corporate reporting as was intended.

Companies Awash in Underwater Stock Options

February 24, 2009

Companies with deeply underwater stock options held by employees at various levels are starting to struggle for lifelines, triggering an unprecedented magnitude of reporting and compliance issues.

Any Wiggle Room When Accounting for Kept Assets?

Cindy Ma Dr. February 03, 2009


Transfer Pricing Rules Take Aim at Tax Avoidance

January 20, 2009

The Internal Revenue Service has issued new rules taking aim at the transfer pricing arrangements corporations often use to develop new technologies—a move that piles on more concern about valuing intangible assets and disclosing tax uncertainties

A Fair Bit of Trouble in Financial Reporting

January 06, 2009

With markets languishing in disarray, accounting and auditing experts expect significant tensions in 2009 around the most subjective—and increasingly contentious—measures of business performance.

Much in Store for Accounting in 2010

January 05, 2009

As companies close the books on the extraordinary events of 2009, it’s already time to think ahead to the issues that command attention in 2010. The year that ended should be seen as something of a “call to action,” says Jeff Thomson, president and CEO of the Institute of Management Accountants.

FASB Racing Through Impairment Revisions

December 23, 2008

The Financial Accounting Standards Board’s high-speed effort to rewrite the accounting rules for impaired assets will take the shape of four quick projects, modifying three existing rules and calling for more disclosures via a fourth new rule.

Impairment Guidance Coming Soon

December 16, 2008

Corporate America should prepare for new accounting rules on how to report devalued assets, since the financial crisis has pushed current rules on reporting impairments to the brink of collapse.
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