FASB PROPOSES TO ENHANCE TRANSPARENCY AROUND SUPPLIER FINANCE PROGRAMS
Norwalk, CT, December 20, 2021—The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) today issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) intended to help investors and other allocators of capital better consider the effect of supplier finance programs on a buyer’s working capital, liquidity, and cash flows. Stakeholders are encouraged to review and provide comment on the proposed ASU by March 21, 2022.
The proposed ASU would affect buyers that use supplier finance programs in connection with the purchase of goods and services. Supplier finance programs allow a buyer to offer its suppliers the option to be paid by a third party in advance of an invoice due date, based on invoices that the buyer has confirmed as valid. These transactions are also commonly known as reverse factoring, payables finance, or structured payables arrangements.
Stakeholders have observed that there is a lack of transparency about supplier finance programs because (1) there are no explicit disclosure requirements in Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for those programs and (2) a buyer may present obligations covered by those programs in the same balance sheet line item as accounts payable or in another balance sheet line item depending on the facts and circumstances of the arrangement.
The proposal would address these issues by requiring the buyer in a supplier finance program to disclose sufficient information about the program to allow an investor to understand the program’s nature, activity during the period, changes from period to period, and potential magnitude. These disclosures would include the key terms of the program, as well as the obligation amount that the buyer has confirmed as valid to the third party that is outstanding at the end of the reporting period, a rollforward of that amount, and a description of where that amount is presented in the balance sheet.
The proposed ASU is available at www.fasb.org.