NEWS RELEASE 09/17/10

FASB Discussion Paper Seeks Input on Improving the Financial Reporting for Insurance Contracts

Norwalk, CT, September 17, 2010—The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a Discussion Paper today to solicit broad-based input on how to improve, simplify, and converge the financial reporting requirements for insurance contracts. The Discussion Paper is part of the FASB’s joint project with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). In June 2010, the IASB issued an Exposure Draft (ED) of a proposed international financial reporting standard that would apply to all insurance contracts written by both insurance companies and noninsurance companies. The FASB Discussion Paper asks stakeholders to provide input about the following:

  • Whether the IASB’s proposal would be a sufficient improvement to U.S. GAAP to justify the cost of change;
     
  • Whether the project goals of improvement, convergence, and simplification would be more effectively achieved by making targeted improvements to existing U.S. GAAP (rather than issuing comprehensive new guidance); and
     
  • Certain critical accounting issues for which the preliminary views of the FASB differ from the IASB’s ED. 
“The FASB believes it is important to gather as much information as possible at this stage of the project to help it decide the best way to improve the financial reporting for insurance contracts,” states FASB member Marc Siegel. “This information will be helpful to both the FASB and the IASB in our deliberations.”

In addition to soliciting written comments, the FASB and the IASB plan to host a series of public roundtable meetings in December 2010 to hear stakeholders’ views.

The Discussion Paper, and information about the roundtables, is available at www.fasb.org.


About the Financial Accounting Standards Board

Since 1973, the Financial Accounting Standards Board has been the designated organization in the private sector for establishing standards of financial accounting and reporting. Those standards govern the preparation of financial reports and are officially recognized as authoritative by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Such standards are essential to the efficient functioning of the economy because investors, creditors, auditors, and others rely on credible, transparent, and comparable financial information. For more information about the FASB, visit our website at www.fasb.org.