The Financial Accounting Standards Board on Tuesday issued an Accounting Standards Update for the upcoming standard on credit losses, known as CECL.
The update mirrors proposals made by FASB in June that tweaked language in the standard regarding negative allowances and expected recoveries.
CECL requires companies to take a “current expected credit losses” approach to recognizing the state of credit-based instruments in financial statements. The standard has been controversial, with banks and lawmakers imploring FASB to delay its implementation so its effects on the economy can be better understood.
Indeed, FASB has pushed back the implementation date of the standard, but not for all companies. Public business entities (PBEs) that are Securities and Exchange Commission filers, excluding entities eligible to be smaller reporting companies as currently defined by the SEC, will still be expected to comply for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2019, and interim periods within those fiscal years. For calendar-year-end companies, the date is Jan. 1, 2020.
All other PBEs and private entities had the date delayed from January 2021 to fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2022, including interim periods within those fiscal years.
FASB’s latest update to the standard addresses questions around negative allowances that are on the books when an entity purchases financial assets that have already experienced some deterioration in credit. A negative allowance occurs when an entity writes off, fully or partially, the amortized cost basis of a financial asset and then determines some or all of it will recover.
The update revises the original guidance to clarify entities should include expected recoveries in the valuation account for such assets when purchased. It also clarifies expected recoveries of unamortized noncredit discounts or premiums should not be included in the allowance for credit losses.
FASB’s update also provides transition relief for troubled debt restructurings and extends disclosure relief for accrued interest receivable balances to additional relevant disclosures involving amortized cost basis.
“After issuing the current expected credit losses standard—also known as CECL—in 2016, the FASB received questions about certain confusing areas of the guidance,” FASB Chairman Russ Golden said in a statement. “The new ASU clarifies these areas of the guidance to ensure all companies and organizations can make a smoother transition to the standard.”