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2010 PREVIEW Accounting in 2010: Major Advances in Rules Loom By Tammy Whitehouse leaving IASB’s next steps uncertain. “This Impairments, Valuation A s companies close the books on the ex- traordinary events of 2009, it’s already is a top standard-setting priority for FASB and IASB, and there are going to be a lot of changes,” he says. T he Securities and Exchange Commis- sion is showing keen interest in how companies report impairments and how time to think ahead to the issues that com- While marketable securities have recov- they reach their fair-value measurements, mand attention in 2010. The year that ended ered significantly from their lows in early says Gregory Bailes, a partner with Texas should be seen as something of a “call to 2009, there’s still plenty of cause to worry regional auditing firm Weaver. Where im- action,” says Jeff Thomson, president and about a “double dip,” warns Robert Swier- pairments or fair-value measurements don’t CEO of the Institute of Management Ac- inga, accounting professor at Cornell Uni- seem to coincide with market capitaliza- countants. versity and a former FASB member. “If we tions, the SEC is asking for details, he says. Companies are thinking more about en- see that, this whole issue of mark-to-market At the same time, FASB and IASB have terprise risk management, he says, not just is going to go around again.” stepped up work on new accounting ap- to assure financial reporting compliance but as a way to gain a strategic advantage. In the FASB, IASB PLANS coming year, companies need to think more broadly about their risks and find the hu- The following excerpt is from the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Website regarding FASB’s man talent necessary to identify and miti- Financial Instruments Project: gate them, he says. “That’s a major concern of every CFO we talk to.” FASB Project Plan (as of Nov. 3) As for the specific financial reporting issues that will take center stage in 2010, FASB has posted to its Website a detailed description of its tentative approach to classiﬁcation and financial reporting experts say companies measurement of ﬁnancial instruments as a way of informing interested constituents and obtaining can expect a lot of movement and focus on early input from them. FASB will continuously update that description as the Board makes additional financial instruments, impairments, off- decisions. balance-sheet accounting, taxes, and the continued migration toward International As another way of obtaining early input on tentative decisions reached and issues relevant to the Financial Reporting Standards. Accounting for Financial Instruments project, the Board and staff have held informal discussions in addition to public roundtables with constituents. The Board and staff obtained input from various Financial Instruments investors, preparers, auditors, regulators, and valuation specialists ... T he fate of troubled financial instru- ments will remain a key accounting issue in 2010, especially as standard-setters FASB will consider input received on its tentative model as well as feedback received on IASB’s Expo- sure Draft and IASB redeliberations as it develops its proposed Accounting Standards Update. work on a new package of rules that will call for more market-based valuation of IASB Project Plan such instruments. The Financial Accounting Standards IASB decided to complete its deliberations on the project in three phases: Board and the International Account- ing Standards Board are trying to develop Phase 1: Classiﬁcation and measurement—IASB has completed this phase with the issuance of IFRS stan
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