Accounting Definition for Compensated Absences to Be Tweaked

On January 12, GASB discussed amendments to decades-old rules for reporting vacations, sick leave, paid time off, sabbaticals, and job terminations. The board reviewed an early draft of a proposed statement, Compensated Absences, and discussions focused on “a refinement to the proposed approach for employer contributions to defined contribution pension and defined contribution other post-employment benefit (OPEB) plans as salary-related payments in the compensated absences liability.” Governmental entities typically provide paid leave benefits to their employees, such as vacation leave and sick leave, according to a written board summary. Often, those benefits accumulate and employees are paid for some or all of their unpaid leave when they terminate employment. The board is scheduled to vote to issue a proposal to solicit public comment at the end of February, a GASB spokesperson said on January 8. The comment period is expected to run from March to May.


PCAOB Member Brown to Exit

PCAOB member Jay Brown, who has been a strong investor advocate at the audit regulatory board, will leave this month, the organization announced on January 12. Some observers have been expecting his departure because of the position his wife, SEC Commissioner Allison Herren Lee, holds. Lee has had to recuse herself on major decisions the PCAOB makes, such as audit standard changes and its annual budget. Furthermore, observers have speculated that President-elect Joe Biden will likely appoint Lee acting SEC chair before naming a permanent chair. “Now that the Democrats will hold the majority on the SEC, Allison can’t afford to be recused from matters relating to the PCAOB,” said Barbara Roper, director of investor protection with the Consumer Federation of America. “We’ll be very sorry to lose Jay at PCAOB, where he’s been the lone voice for investors on the board in recent years. But this was the right decision for them to make.”


Trustees Announce Webinar Series on Revenue, Financial Instruments, Leases

The IFRS Foundation on January 12 said it will host six webinars in January and February to drum up more academic research for financial instruments, revenue, and lease accounting rules. The research will be used to inform the IASB’s post-implementation reviews (PIR) of International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9, Financial Instruments; IFRS 15, Revenue from Contracts with Customers; and IFRS 16, Leases. The IFRS Foundation is the London-based trustee organization with oversight responsibility of the IASB, the accounting rulemaking body that develops IFRSs for more than 140 jurisdictions worldwide. The series will provide an overview of each standard’s objectives and related research opportunities, followed by questions and answers. The webcasts will be live-streamed twice daily as follows:

  • IFRS 9: Thursday, January 21, 9–10 a.m. GMT (4-5 a.m. EST); and 3–4 p.m. GMT (10–11 a.m. EST)
  • IFRS 16: Friday, January 22, 9:30–10:30 a.m. GMT (4:30-5:30 a.m. EST); and 3–4 p.m. GMT (10–11 a.m. EST)
  • IFRS 15: Monday, February 9, 9–10 a.m. GMT (4–5 a.m. EST); and 3–4 p.m. GMT (10–11 a.m. EST)