Agenda Requests from Big Four Rejected

FASB voted against adding two projects to its technical agenda, one to clarify rules related to common control transactions and another on asset acquisitions achieved through the issuance of equity instruments—two topics separately flagged by KPMG LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Specifically, the board, citing the need to prioritize more pressing issues, took a decisive stroke against: addressing the current requirement for a receiving entity to push down the parent entity’s basis in a common control transaction; and clarifying whether transactions in which an entity issues equity instruments to acquire assets should be accounted for as share-based payments to non-employees within the scope of Topic 718, Stock Compensation, or as asset acquisitions within the scope of Subtopic 805-50, Business Combinations—Related Issues. The issues are not sufficiently pervasive, would introduce broader knock-on effects on other standards, and did not reach the bar for being a standard-setting priority, the board said. On the common control topic, FASB Chair Richard Jones said “when I look at that I look at ‘what is the issue we’re trying to solve,’ which in my mind would be consistency, but I would also consider prevalence and our ability to tackle this issue somewhat narrowly. And it’s on that last point that I get very concerned.”

Forum for Continuing Professional Education Providers Set

FASB said it will hold an online technical forum for continuing professional education (CPE) providers that will give an update about recent standards and other projects. Topics of discussion are expected to include current reporting issues (especially COVID-19 related issues), revenue recognition, leases, credit losses, and select ongoing projects, the announcement states. The event, “In Focus: CPE Provider Forum,” will take place on Monday, March 22, from 1–3 p.m. Attendees will be allowed to submit questions to a panel of FASB board members and staff, including FASB member Marsha Hunt, FASB Assistant Director–Nonpublic Entities Jeff Mechanick, FASB Supervising Project Manager Liz Gagnon, and other FASB staff. The forum is open to stand-alone CPE providers whose primary business is to provide CPE, as well as individuals who provide CPE within their organization (for example, a CPA firm) or to their organization’s clients. CPE credit will not be provided, and participants must register in advance. “Private companies, not-for-profit organizations, and other stakeholders often contract with CPE providers to help their staffs understand and implement new accounting standards,” FASB Chair Richard Jones said in a statement. “The FASB’s CPE provider online training forum is designed to keep professional accounting educators up to date on recent standards and activities to help them impart the best information to their clients and colleagues.”


Companies Have a Unique Opportunity to Overhaul Work Approach Post-COVID

An IASB advisory body offered mixed views on approaches for operating after COVID-19 work-from-home mandates have lifted, with many observing it’s a good opportunity for a comprehensive review based on a company’s operational needs. Some companies are thinking through a hybrid-approach for staff consisting of flex days and anchor days for going into an office, according IFRS Advisory Council discussions. Under a hybrid model, anchor days would be ones whereby an employee would be required to be in office and have an allocated desk with the rest of their team, still sitting within the team environment. The number of anchor days would differ based on company or team needs. The concept of flex days is one whereby the employee would have the choice of working from home or from the office. If in-office on flex days, they would not work at an assigned office desk, but one that is available for rotating use, termed a “hot desk.” “The working from home sudden change has worked surprisingly well so far, but it’s clear that a lot has been because of existing relationships that were built up in the office, and that can’t last as people change roles or leave the company and new people join,” Osmond Sattar of S&P Global Ratings said. “At the same time that concept of the genie being out of the bottle, people do like working from home, they do like the flexibility—that’s a fantastic thing that people tend not to want to lose.”