Effective Date for Insurance Accounting Amendments still 2021

Despite the complaints of U.S. insurance companies that they will not be ready to meet the 2021 effective date of FASB’s anticipated amendments for insurance accounting, the board has no plans to delay the required compliance. The board is satisfied with the work it has done to date, including its June decision to move forward with the final amendments based on proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-330, Financial Services—Insurance (Topic 944): Targeted Improvements to the Accounting for Long-Duration Contracts. “We have gathered a lot of information from all stakeholders about what the costs and complexities would be. We’ve made a lot of changes to the standard to address those,” FASB member Christine Botosan said on August 6 at the American Accounting Association’s annual meeting in National Harbor, Maryland. “Based on the whole set of information that the board had to look at, we ultimately felt comfortable with the decisions we made.” The planned update is expected to require companies to regularly update their assumptions about policyholder liabilities.


Public Comments Sought for Draft Strategic Plan

On August 10, the PCAOB issued for public comment a draft version of its long-term plan, comprising a broad outline of its goals but few details on its regulatory priorities. The PCAOB said it wants to provide more timely feedback to accounting firms following its inspections; in addition, the board plans to focus its enforcement efforts on matters that pose the greatest risk to investors and are most likely to deter accounting fraud and other abuses. “This draft strategic plan is the product of significant engagement among PCAOB leadership, staff, investors, auditors, audit committee members, preparers, academics, and others interested in audit quality,” PCAOB Chair William Duhnke said in a statement. The draft plan outlines the PCAOB’s long-term goals for improving audit quality. The board said it wants to improve the job it does communicating its efforts to the financial markets and the accounting profession.


After 17 Years, IASB Moves Main Office

The IASB has moved its London headquarters to the Canary Wharf district, leaving the location it had used since it was formed in 2001 at 30 Cannon Street in the City, London’s financial district. The accounting board said its meetings and operations will now be conducted at the Columbus Building, 7 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London. The e-mail addresses and phone numbers for board members and staff have not changed, the IASB said. In January 2017, the IASB began evaluating its options for a new office once it was clear that the lease for Cannon Street would expire at the end of 2018. By December, the IASB determined that it would find a new office elsewhere in London and ruled out the option of moving outside the United Kingdom, which the U.K.’s Financial Reporting Council said would be “counterproductive.” The regulator noted that the United Kingdom is the largest financial market to use IFRS.