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FASB should tailor communications with firms conference attendees say
WASHINGTON (10/21/11)--Attendees of the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) recent private-company accounting roundtable urged FASB to focus and streamline how it communicates when it issues or amends rules that specifically impact certain types of private businesses. The FASB meeting was held earlier this week in San Francisco, Calif. Patelco CU Chief Financial Officer and Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Accounting Subcommittee Chairman Scott Waite attended the meeting on behalf of CUNA and his credit union. He is also a long-time advisory member of the FASB. Waite said he was “very happy to represent credit unions” at the FASB meeting. He will also attend a November meeting at FASB’s home office in Norwalk, Connecticut. Several participants said that the amount of disclosures provided by FASB can be overwhelming while still others would prefer more use of disclosures rather than apply the accounting treatment. Waite noted that this make setting appropriate standards very challenging to please everyone. During the meeting while discussing ways to filter applicable changes, Waite said one of the reasons that CUNA formed its accounting subcommittee is to filter through FASB proposal and standards and pick out the relevant information for credit unions. The meeting attendees also generally encouraged FASB to improve its communication with the small accounting firms that work with private companies and to give greater consideration to the needs of these small firms. Accounting and disclosure requirements relating to variable interest entities, interest-rate swaps, and Level 3 fair value measurements were also among the items covered during the meeting. The Financial Accounting Foundation earlier this month proposed establishing a new Private Company Standards Improvement Council. FASB in an earlier release said this new group, if approved, would review U.S. GAAP and determine how those standards could be improved to better serve the needs of private companies. The group could then issue modifications, if needed.
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