FASB asks for feedback on future accounting standards agenda

Cecilia Nysing

The Financial Accounting Standards Board is looking for suggestions on what its future standard-setting agenda should look like.

FASB issued an invitation to comment Thursday asking its constituents to offer feedback on its future agenda. FASB is asking stakeholders to review and provide comments on the document by Sept. 22.

The request comes at a time when FASB has largely completed most of its major agenda projects in areas like revenue recognition, leases, credit losses, hedge accounting and long-duration insurance. It has been tweaking some of those standards and providing relief during the pandemic by extending some of the deadlines for complying with the new standards. Now FASB is looking for other areas where new standards and improved standards are most needed.

FASB chairman Richard Jones

“Stakeholder input will play a pivotal role in helping the FASB identify areas where there’s a pervasive need to improve GAAP,” said FASB chair Richard Jones in a statement. “What we learn during the agenda consultation process will help us decide what issues we can successfully address with feasible solutions whose benefits are likely to justify the expected costs of change.”

The invitation to comment comes from the FASB staff and doesn’t include the views of the board members. It’s aimed at soliciting broad feedback on what FASB’s future agenda priorities should be. FASB plans to use the feedback it receives so it can better allocate its finite time and resources to achievable standard-setting projects that carry out its main mission of improving financial accounting and reporting standards and addressing topics that are of the highest priority to its stakeholders. FASB plans to consider the feedback it receives when making any changes to its agenda.

The document summarizes earlier input that FASB received during an initial agenda consultation that it conducted. The suggestions generally recommended the following types of projects:

  • Requiring further disaggregation of financial reporting information to give investors better and more useful information that will directly influence their decisions and behavior;
  • Addressing emerging transactions to reduce diversity in practice and retain the relevancy of the FASB Accounting Standards Codification;
  • Reevaluating specific areas of the existing GAAP rules to reduce unnecessary complexity;
  • Improving certain FASB standard-setting processes.

“Since launching the agenda consultation process in late 2020, the FASB staff has spoken with more than 200 stakeholders who provided input on what topics they think the board should address next,” said FASB technical director Hillary Salo in a statement. “We drew upon their diverse, thoughtful, and insightful feedback to develop our June 2021 invitation to comment, which gives all stakeholders the chance to share their views on priority topics and potential solutions for the board’s consideration.”

FASB is asking for feedback on what topics, if any, its constituents believe the board should address as top priorities, along with prioritization of projects on FASB’s current technical agenda.

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