FASB Chair, Former SEC Chief Accountant Slated for Taxonomy Webcast

FASB Chair Richard Jones and former SEC Chief Accountant Wes Bricker will address a U.S. GAAP and SEC Taxonomy webcast in mid-April to discuss digital reporting, according to a recent FASB alert. In this “fireside chat,” Bricker will provide his vision for digital reporting across multiple domains “and how it creates value, reduces risk, and increases the reliability of decision useful information,” the text of the program explains. He will also speak about the importance of investing in the next generation of talent. Bricker is currently vice chair–U.S./Mexico trust solutions co-leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. The discussions are part of a FASB webcast, “In Focus: 2023 GAAP and SEC Reporting Taxonomy Improvements and SEC Update,” which will be held on April 11 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Members of the SEC’s office of structured disclosure team will also provide an update on the SEC taxonomies and discuss their observations on data quality. Speakers include Julie Marlowe, assistant director, Jim Yu, financial analyst, SEC office of structured disclosure, and FASB taxonomy staff.

EITF’s Role Among Topics Set for FASB Advisory Discussions

A key FASB advisory body met on March 7 to discuss four topics, including the board’s interpretive process and the role of the Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF).The Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council (FASAC) discussed the EITF, a special body that was established in 1984 to work with the FASB on practice concerns that companies raise when applying U.S. GAAP. FASB Technical Director Hillary Salo chairs the EITF. Typically, the issues brought to the EITF’s table are narrow and nuanced, stemming from complexity in an accounting standard or a lack of clarity that results in differences in the ways companies apply a specific standard. Such differences are important because they create financial statements that are not comparable, hindering the ability of investors to make informed decisions. The topic of the EITF’s role was publicly mentioned two years ago by FASB Chair Richard Jones who, at an AICPA conference, observed that it was mentioned in the comment letter responses to the board’s Invitation-to-Comment (ITC) 2021-004, Agenda Consultation. Specifically, some comment letters suggested that the board consider leveraging the EITF so that it is as influential and nimble as the IFRS Interpretations Committee (IFRIC), the panel that works alongside the IASB, the board that develops IFRS standards. IFRIC establishes its own agenda in response to questions about the application of international financial reporting standards (IFRSs) and does other work at the IASB’s request.


Rulemakers get Nudge from Japan’s Prime Minister to Tackle Human Capital Next

The heads of the bodies that develop accounting and sustainability standards for more than 140 jurisdictions worldwide met with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last week, as part of efforts to leverage ESG initiatives in the region. Now that general sustainability and climate-related disclosure standards have been completed, “we hope that the ISSB will consider human capital disclosure standards as the next issue,” Kishida told IFRS Foundation Trustee Chair Erkki Liikanen, International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) Chair Emmanuel Macron, and International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) Chair Andreas Barckow, during a March 2 meeting. “We believe that it is important to develop disclosure standards that are related to human capital and to formulate international rules in this area and we hope that the ISSB will consider human capital disclosure standards as the next issue after climate change,” he said in a video broadcast. Kishida also said he welcomed the progress being made by the ISSB in developing international disclosure standards on climate change, noting the increased attention now being paid to corporate information on sustainability. Liikanen thanked the prime minister for his support, adding that the RFI will include human capital as a potential ISSB project. But he also explained the order of how the ISSB will approach its work, hinting that first priority will be pressing for the adoption of the standards that have already been completed. “Now the critical moments are coming,” he said.