News Release 11/11/15
FASB VOTES TO PROCEED WITH FINAL STANDARD
ON RECOGNITION AND MEASUREMENT OF FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS
Norwalk, CT, November 11, 2015—The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) today voted to proceed with a final Accounting Standards Update (ASU) intended to improve and simplify the recognition and measurement of financial instruments. A final ASU is expected to be issued in the coming weeks.
As part of its discussion, the Board voted to permit early adoption of the “own credit” provision in the standard. “Own credit” refers to the accounting effect of changes in the fair value of a financial liability due to changes in an organization’s credit risk.
Under current GAAP, companies can elect to fair value certain debt instruments and recognize changes in fair value related to those debt instruments in earnings. In other words, if the debt decreases in price on the market, the liability associated with the debt would decrease (because an organization could buy back the debt at a lower price). That decrease currently would be reported as a gain in the income statement.
Financial statement users have told the FASB they find this result confusing and counter-intuitive. Under the new standard, fair value changes resulting from own credit for financial liabilities measured under the fair value option in current GAAP will be recognized through other comprehensive income (OCI) instead of net income.
The ASU on recognition and measurement will take effect for public companies for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those fiscal years. For nonpublic companies, the standard becomes effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, and for interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019.
The FASB also voted to set the effective date of its planned guidance on measuring credit losses. The new credit losses standard will require a forward-looking “expected loss” approach instead of the “incurred loss” approach in effect today. The Board expects to publish a final ASU on credit losses in early 2016.
Public businesses that meet the definition of an SEC filer will be required to apply the guidance for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years.
Other public businesses will be required to apply the guidance for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, including interim periods within those fiscal years.
Non-public business organizations—including private companies, not-for-profit organizations, and employee benefit plans within the scope of FASB guidance on plan accounting—will be required to apply the guidance for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, and interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020.
Early application of the guidance will be permitted for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years.
“The upcoming standards on the recognition and measurement of financial instruments and credit losses will bring greater transparency to financial statements,” stated FASB Chairman Russell G. Golden.
Mr. Golden added, “The Board felt it was important to decide effective dates for both standards at the same time to ensure that we’ve appropriately considered the impact of transitioning to those standards on banks and other lending institutions.”
More information about the FASB’s financial instruments projects and upcoming standards is available at www.fasb.org.
About the Financial Accounting Standards Board
Established in 1973, the FASB is the independent, private-sector, not-for-profit organization based in Norwalk, Connecticut, that establishes financial accounting and reporting standards for public and private companies and not-for-profit organizations that follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The FASB is recognized by the Securities and Exchange Commission as the designated accounting standard setter for public companies. FASB standards are recognized as authoritative by many other organizations, including state Boards of Accountancy and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). The FASB develops and issues financial accounting standards through a transparent and inclusive process intended to promote financial reporting that provides useful information to investors and others who use financial reports. The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) supports and oversees the FASB. For more information, visit www.fasb.org.