NORWALK, Conn.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council (FASAC), the primary advisory group for the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), today issued the results of its recent survey to solicit stakeholder views about the FASB’s future agenda.
“While opinions varied on specific projects and issues, FASB stakeholders agreed that simplifying standards, and improving the relevance of information that results from those standards, should be among the Board’s top priorities.”
With the completion of several major FASB projects―including revenue recognition―expected in the coming months, the survey provided FASB stakeholders with the opportunity to share their views on projects and areas that they believe are the most important for the FASB to address in the future.
Respondents represented a diverse population of FASB stakeholders, including preparers (38%), accounting firms (22%), users (12%), academic (8%), industry organizations (6%), and other (14%). The survey included 18 questions and was available on the FASB website.
The 2013 survey asked FASAC and other FASB advisory group members, FASB members, and other interested constituents for their views on the FASB’s future technical agenda, key areas of suggested focus, and other related initiatives and efforts.
The top 5 projects that respondents thought should be on the FASB’s agenda for the next 3–5 years were:
- Disclosure Framework
- Accounting for Financial Instruments: Hedging
- Conceptual Framework
- Financial Instruments with Characteristics of Equity
- Pensions (tied for 5th)
- Financial Statement Presentation (tied for 5th).
About 50% of the responses indicated a need to resolve one (or more) potential projects within the next 24 months. The projects that seemed to garner the most comments in this area were the conceptual and disclosure frameworks and the projects on financial instruments.
Responses also reiterated the importance of the completion of some of the significant projects currently on the FASB’s agenda, as well as the continued importance of addressing the needs of the private company and not-for-profit communities.
The three primary reasons why respondents thought the FASB should undertake the top priorities were that:
- Simplification is needed
- Better information is needed
- Current information does not provide decision-useful information to investors and other users of financial reports.
Also of note: about half of the respondents support the reorganization or enhancement of the FASB’s Codification. The stakeholder group with the strongest level of support for reorganization or enhancement among the respondents is accounting firms and auditors; 71% of respondents from accounting firms responded that the Codification should be enhanced.
“The FASAC survey provides important feedback to the FASB on where to focus our efforts, both now and in the future, in our mission to reduce complexity and improve the relevance of financial reporting for both public and private companies,” stated FASB Chairman Russ Golden. “The results of the 2013 FASAC survey are a valuable source of information about what our project priorities should be and will help guide our decisions about where to deploy resources to address issues stakeholders have told us are most urgently in need of improvement.”
“Part of the FASAC’s role is to advise the FASB on future project priorities and on possible new agenda items,” noted FASAC Chairman Charles Noski. “While opinions varied on specific projects and issues, FASB stakeholders agreed that simplifying standards, and improving the relevance of information that results from those standards, should be among the Board’s top priorities.”
About the Financial Accounting Standards Board
Since 1973, the Financial Accounting Standards Board has been the designated organization in the private sector for establishing standards of financial accounting and reporting. Those standards govern the preparation of financial reports and are officially recognized as authoritative by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Such standards are essential to the efficient functioning of the economy because investors, creditors, auditors, and others rely on credible, transparent, and comparable financial information. For more information about the FASB, visit our website at www.fasb.org.