Accounting Rules for Franchise Fees Discussed

FASB discussed whether to add a project to its technical agenda that would provide an accounting alternative for applying revenue recognition rules to initial franchise fees, a topic unique to franchisors. Franchisors have told the board that Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, causes them to have to delay for up to 20 years the full recognition of initial franchise fees, cash that could be used to defray incurred expenses. FASB has been researching the topic to consider developing a cost effective yet practical solution for reporting initial franchise fees under Topic 606. Once the board decides to add a project, it begins with initial deliberations on a proposal for public comment. Prior FASB discussions suggest the board could provide a practical expedient for franchisors on the topic. A practical expedient is an accounting alternative that skips steps that are irrelevant to a unique fact pattern so that the spirit of the rule can be more easily applied.

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Update to Concepts for Elements of Financial Statements Proposed

On July 16, FASB published a proposal that would update the concepts for elements of financial statements, a new chapter in the non-authoritative guide it uses to develop new accounting standards. The proposal defines 10 elements of financial statements—assets, liabilities, equity (net assets), revenues, expenses, gains, losses, investments by owners, distributions to owners, and comprehensive income—to be applied in developing standards for both businesses and not-for-profit organizations. “The proposed new chapter of the FASB’s Conceptual Framework will provide a useful reference in the Board’s future standard-setting process,” FASB Chairman Richard Jones said in a statement. “An updated Conceptual Framework can help us set standards that improve the understandability of information companies and organizations provide to existing and potential investors, lenders, donors, and other resource providers.” Comments on the proposed changes are due November 13.


New Members Named on IASB Advisory Group for Small and Mid-Sized Entities

The IFRS Foundation has appointed 21 new members and one observer to the SME Implementation Group (SMEIG), a body that advises the IASB on rules for small and medium-size entities. The new SMEIG members’ three-year term started July 1, the announcement states. The appointments came from the following jurisdictions: five from Europe; seven from Asia-Oceania; five from Africa; and three from the Americas. The observer is Karen Sanderson, Head of Programme, International Financial Reporting for Not-for-profit Organisations, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. In June this year, the trustees of the IFRS Foundation said they revised the terms of reference and operating procedures to recognize the role of the SMEIG in supporting application of the IFRS for SMEs standard. The document is updated from time to time to reflect changes in circumstances, due process, or requirements. The SMEIG was established in 2010 to support the international adoption of IFRS for SMEs and monitor its implementation.