Thursday, April 15, 2010

FASB, IASB Convergence Progress Report

The IASB and the FASB published a report detailing their progress toward convergence of U.S. GAAP andIFRS.

The two boards sped up their work on convergence last fall with the goal of making significant progress by June 2011. Instead of meeting every four months, the two boards have held 10 joint meetings totaling more than 100 hours of discussions since the fall agreement.

As of March 31, 2010, FASB and the IASB report that they have met substantially all of the milestone targets they had set for the first quarter of 2010. They are on track to publish exposure drafts this year for five major projects that would improve and achieve substantial convergence of U.S. GAAP and IFRS, including consolidations, revenue recognition, financial instruments with the characteristics of equity, and financial statement presentation.

However, on two major projects, financial instruments and insurance contracts, the two boards admitted they are at loggerheads and have reached different conclusions on some important technical issues. The boards also agreed in late March to look at lease accounting, which is a messy topic and which could affect the timing of convergence.

The revised schedule includes publication of about ten exposure drafts in the first half of 2010. Final standards are expected by 2011 for revenue recognition. leasing, insurance, debt vs equity, consolidations, and financial statement presentation.

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