Project Update

Disclosure Framework

Last updated on May 30, 2014. Please refer to the Current Technical Plan for information about the expected release dates of exposure documents and final standards.

(Updated sections are indicated with an asterisk *)

The staff has prepared this summary of Board decisions for information purposes only. Those Board decisions are tentative and do not change current accounting. Official positions of the FASB are determined only after extensive due process and deliberations.

*Overview
Project Objective(s)
Next Steps
Due Process Documents
Board/Other Public Meeting Dates
Resource Group and Other Outreach
Background Information
Contact Information

*Overview

This page contains information pertinent to the overall Disclosure Framework project. For specific details about the Board’s decision process or the entity’s decision process, please refer to the pages for each of those topics at the links below:

Topic Last Updated
Board's Decision Process 03/04/14
Entity's Decision Process 05/30/14

Project Objective(s)

The objective and primary focus of this project is to improve the effectiveness of disclosures in notes to financial statements by clearly communicating the information that is most important to users of each entity’s financial statements. (Although reducing the volume of the notes to financial statements is not the primary focus, the Board hopes that a sharper focus on important information will result in reduced volume in most cases.)

Achieving the objective of improving effectiveness will require development of a framework that promotes consistent decisions about disclosure requirements by the Board and the appropriate exercise of discretion by reporting entities. The Board also is considering whether, and if so, how, to provide guidance to improve the organization, formatting, and style of the notes to financial statements.

The FASB staff has developed a “Q&A: FASB’s Disclosure Framework Project” fact sheet which can be viewed here.

Next Steps

Board’s Decision Process

The FASB issued for exposure a proposed Concepts Statement—Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting: Chapter 8 Notes to Financial Statement. Stakeholders are encouraged to review and provide comment on the exposure draft by July 14, 2014.

Entity’s Decision Process

The FASB conducted a field study which tested the ability of public and private companies and not-for-profit organizations to exercise discretion over which disclosures they provide in notes to financial statements. The FASB staff presented the results of this field study and next steps based on the field study findings at the April 4, 2014 Board Meeting.

Due Process Documents

Please refer to the Board’s decision process and the Entity’s decision process project pages for due process documents issued related to each of those topics.

On July 12, 2012, the Board issued Invitation to Comment – Disclosure Framework. The original due date for comment letters was set for November 16, 2012 but due to Hurricane Sandy the comment period was extended two weeks to November 30, 2012.

Board/Other Public Meeting Dates

The Board meeting minutes are provided for the information and convenience of constituents who want to follow the Board’s deliberations. All of the conclusions reported are tentative and may be changed at future Board meetings. Decisions become final only after a formal written ballot to issue a final standard.

Please refer to the Board’s decision process and the Entity’s decision process project pages for current Board meeting minutes related to each of those topics within the broader Disclosure Framework project.

Resource Group and Other Outreach

The Board established a resource group to help identify key issues with existing disclosures and evaluate proposed solutions. The membership of that group includes academics, analysts, auditors, preparers, and regulators. The staff consults informally with members of the resource group as needed. The group met with Board members and staff on October 28, 2011. Future meetings will be scheduled if necessary.

The FASB, in conjunction with the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), held two forums on disclosure effectiveness designed to encourage dialogue among a wide range of financial reporting stakeholders on improving the effectiveness of disclosures in notes to financial statements and other parts of the financial reporting package. The forums were held at Columbia University’s Center for Excellence in Accounting and Security Analysis in New York City on October 4, and at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in Stanford, California, on October 8, 2012.

Background Information

On July 8, 2009, the FASB chairman announced (press release) the addition of a new agenda project aimed at establishing an overarching framework intended to make financial statement disclosures more effective, coordinated, and less redundant. The project was added in response to requests and recommendations received from several constituents, including the Investors Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Advisory Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting (Recommendations 1.2 and 1.3).

The staffs of the Board and the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) have cooperated in the development of the ideas discussed in this Invitation to Comment and a similar discussion paper issued by EFRAG.

Contact Information

Ron Lott
Research Director
rwlott@fasb.org

Nick Cappiello
Project Manager
ntcappiello@fasb.org

Jenifer Wyss
Project Manager
jjwyss@fasb.org

Sean May
Industry Fellow
srmay@fasb.org

Kristan Hinn
Postgraduate Technical Assistant
kahinn@fasb.org

Danika Tibbetts
Postgraduate Technical Assistant
drtibbetts@fasb.org