Tuesday, December 30, 2008

FASB-IASB Fin. Crisis Adv. Group Members Announced; SEC Approves Final Oil & Gas Rules

Earlier today, FASB and the IASB announced the members of their joint Financial Crisis Advisory Group. U.S. members include investor reps and former regulators such as Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, Jerry Corrigan (formerly President of NY Fed) and Gene Ludwig (former Comptroller of the Currency) and Don Nicolaisen (former SEC Chief Accountant, and co-chair of the U.S. Treasury Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession which issued its report earlier this year). Another U.S. rep is Raudline Etienne, Chief Investment Officer, New York State Common Retirement Fund. As previously announced, the joint advisory group will be co-chaired by former SEC Commissioner Harvey Goldschmid, and Hans Hoogervorst, Chairman, AFM (the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets).

According to today's announcement:
  • "The primary function of the advisory group is to advise the boards about standard-setting implications of (1) the global financial crisis and (2) potential changes to the global regulatory environment. The group will conclude its activities within approximately six months (or less) and will conduct advisory meetings during that time."
Matters to be considered by the advisory group include FASB-IASB priorities, the SEC's upcoming study of mark-to-market, and issues relating to due process, independence, and governance of the standard setters.

In terms of timing, some of the comment letters filed with the SEC relating to its mark-to-market study ask for certain actions to be taken with respect to fair value or mark to market accounting to impact year-end reporting this year, and that other longer-term actions be taken. See, for example, this joint comment letter filed Dec. 19 with the SEC by various industry groups.

Although the FASB-IASB advisory group will consider "significant accounting issues that require urgent and immediate attention by the boards, as well as issues for longer-term consideration," the fact that their first meeting will be held in January 2009, and that they will operate as an advisory group to inform subsequent action of the FASB and IASB may indicate that any 'urgent and immediate actions' following from their advice may not necessarily impact year-end reporting as of 12/31/08, especially in terms of how financial statement items are actually measured and reported, although there could be some impact on disclosures that are subsequently provided, e.g. in 10-Ks.

Comment deadline today on FASB 99-20 Impairment Proposal
However, there is a FASB proposal out for comment that could impact year-end reporting with respect to certain financial instruments. As we reported on Dec. 20, FASB released Proposed FSP EITF 99-20-a, Amendments to the Impairment and Interest Income Measurement Guidance of EITF Issue No. 99-20, on Dec. 19, and the comment deadline is today (Dec. 30).

We noted previously that the 99-20 proposal will only have an impact if it is ultimately approved by the FASB board after they review comment letters, and that some board members were not entirely in favor of the proposal when it was first discussed, but were willing to propose it for public comment and reach a final decision afterward. The FASB calendar currently shows a board meeting scheduled for Wed. Jan. 7, and that a meeting that had been added Mon. Jan. 5 has now been cancelled.

Separately, FASB and the IASB released on Dec. 24 proposed disclosure guidance in the form of Proposed FSP FAS 107-a, Disclosures about Certain Financial Instruments. (See also the related IASB Exposure Draft: Investments in Debt Securities - an Amendment of IFRS 7, and IASB's related press release. ) The comment deadline deadline on the proposed disclosures in this FASB FSP (and the related IASB ED) is January 15.

SEC Approves Changes To Oil and Gas Company Reporting Requirements
In other news, the SEC issued a press release yesterday announcing "SEC Modernizes Oil and Gas Company Reporting Requirements to Provide Investors With More Meaningful and Comprehensive Disclosure." This action culminates the process taken with SEC's earlier Concept Release and Rule Proposal in this area. SEC states in yesterday's press release: "The full text of the adopting release concerning these amendments will be posted to the SEC Web site as soon as possible."

Print this post

No comments: