Three New Members Appointed to EITF

FASB has added three new members to its Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF). The board said on June 12 that it has appointed Liesl Nebel, financial controller of Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. in Portland, Oregon; Jeremy Perler, a partner at Schilit Forensics in New York; and Matthew Schechter, formerly head of forensic accounting at Balyasny Asset Management in Chicago, Illinois, to the task force. The EITF is charged with helping to reduce financial reporting differences that crop up among companies as they apply GAAP. In a press release, EITF Chair and FASB member Susan Cosper said that the appointees “each bring a wealth of experience to their new roles, and will provide valuable perspectives to our discussions about technical accounting issues.” The additions replace Tony Sondhi of A.C. Sondhi & Associates, LLC, and Mark LaMonte, former managing director of Moody’s Investors Service.

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Proposal Would Enable Bond Analysts to Better Assess Governments’ Long-Term Debt

Bond analysts will receive more complete reports of governments’ assets and liabilities under changes the GASB proposed on June 13 to clarify the reporting of and payments for public-private and public-public partnerships (PPPs). The proposed changes, issued as GASB Exposure Draft (ED) 30-1, Public-Private and Public-Public Partnerships and Availability Payment Arrangements, would remove confusion about how to report PPPs when they do not fall within the scope of current rules for leases or service concession arrangements, which entities typically analogize them to. Companies have varied in their reporting of such PPPs, and therefore accounting differences among governmental entities have arisen, according to the proposal. The wide differences in government reporting make it challenging for analysts to determine the true amount of debt (long-term liabilities) a governmental entity has, as well as whether it can meet its fiscal obligations. “The proposed guidance could result in governments having larger capital asset liability amounts, which could affect their overall ratios,” GASB Senior Research Manager Dean Mead said. “The impact on their net position should be less significant.”


Top Economist for Standards and Risk Assessment to Leave

On June 11, the PCAOB announced that Andres Vinelli, senior economist, is leaving after 10 years of service. As the chief economist for standards and risk assessment, Vinelli oversaw the board’s program to analyze the costs and benefits of audit standards, including effects on investor protection, efficiency, competition, and capital formation. He also led the effort to expand data analytics, quantitative risk models, and develop macroeconomic analysis to identify areas of financial reporting risk. Before joining the PCAOB, Vinelli was the chief economist of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). His departure follows the board’s June 3 announcement that Patricia Ledesma, acting director of the Office of Economic and Risk Analysis (ERA), is leaving the organization.