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FASB Project May Reduce Financial Disclosure Burden

Tammy Whitehouse | September 7, 2011

Public companies have grumbled for ages about “disclosure overload,” and for just as long those complaints have mostly fallen on deaf ears. That may be changing.

Accounting rulemakers indicate that they may finally consider ways to pare back the reams of disclosure companies are forced to make by way of a long-term project to reconsider what companies should be required to tell investors.  

The Financial Accounting Standards Board is in the early stages of a comprehensive project to develop a framework for how decisions about financial statement disclosures are made—including how FASB decides what to require, and eventually how companies decide what they disclose. “The fundamental purpose is to give us a thought process, or a framework, to make decisions about disclosures,” FASB member Larry Smith said during a recent meeting. “Hopefully that will lead to a reduction in disclosures.”

There's little dispute that disclosure overload is taking a toll in the... To get the full story, subscribe now.