FASB Testing “Staggered Adoption” Policy for Smaller Reporting Companies
FASB is taking pity on smaller reporting companies – who are finding it especially challenging to implement the slew of recent changes to accounting standards. According to a recent Proposed Accounting Standards Update, the Board has tentatively approved a new philosophy that will extend how effective dates are staggered between larger public companies and all other entities – including smaller reporting companies, private companies and employee benefit plans. Here is an expert from a recent Deloitte blog:
The FASB tentatively decided that – subject to the Board’s discretion – a major accounting standard would become effective for entities in Bucket 2 (SRCs, etc.) at least two years after the effective date applicable to entities in Bucket 1 (large public companies). Further, the FASB indicated that entities in Bucket 1 would apply the new accounting standard to interim periods within the fiscal year of adoption while entities in Bucket 2 would apply it to interim periods beginning in the fiscal year after the year of initial adoption.
Historically, the FASB has issued standards with different effective dates for (1) public companies and (2) all other entities. Note that the Board’s tentative decisions would not affect the relief granted under SEC rules related to the adoption of new accounting standards by emerging growth companies.
For smaller reporting companies, this new philosophy would apply to the standard on current expected credit losses – so the proposal would extend the effective date by three years, to 2023. A lot of companies stand to benefit, especially in light of the SEC’s recent expansion of the SRC definition. But not everyone thinks this new philosophy is a good approach. The “Accountancy Daily” article reports on Moody’s anxiety about the change:
The proposal – initiated to give smaller companies more time to implement the new accounting changes – would hinder the credit analysis process by compromising comparability between public and private issuers and delaying, for adoption laggards, the enhanced disclosures these new standards bring.
-Liz Dnushee, TheCorporateCounsel.net August 26, 2019
Want to keep reading?
Great. Enter your email address and gain instant access to this article