No Oversight Questions About Chair’s Congressional Hearing

No questions were posed to FASB Chair Richard Jones by oversight trustees about his testimony at a congressional hearing last year—billed as part of the board’s overall outreach efforts. He met “with many of our elected officials and their staff in advance of that meeting,” Jones told the Financial Accounting Foundation’s (FAF) Standard-Setting Oversight Committee on February 23, observing it was an opportunity to hear from the board’s constituents. “To them—and the offer goes to all of our stakeholders—we have an open-door policy; we’re happy to talk to anyone,” he said. “Anyone who would like to be part of our process we’re always interested to hear what they have to say—and I think that’s a message that goes over well with all of our stakeholders.” Jones’ remarks were about his testimony at the House Committee on Financial Services hearing on December 12, wherein he fielded several questions, including from Representatives Frank Lucas (R-OK), and Brad Sherman (D-CA). The bulk of questions came from Sherman, who observed the board’s project on accounting for software costs and hoped “that you would look at not only doing what you’re going to do on software, but applying those same standards to research.”


ASB Decides to Continue Project on Quality Management Attestation Standards

The AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) in early February decided to move forward with its project on quality management (QM) attestation standards and will vote to issue a final standard during a meeting in May, according to Ahava Goldman, an associate director with the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. “One respondent was not in agreement with the project as a whole, however, the ASB continues to believe the proposed QM SSAE [Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements] is in the public interest,” Goldman told Thomson Reuters on February 23, recapping the ASB’s quarterly meeting that was held on February 1/2.This comes as PricewaterhouseCoopers questioned “whether it is necessary for the ASB finalize these proposed changes now in advance of two potentially significant developments.” And a task force had asked whether the ASB should pause or continue with the project. PricewaterhouseCoopers cited international standards-setting efforts underway. The board issued an exposure draft in August 2023 aimed at aligning certain concepts in attestation standards with quality management standards issued in June 2022.


How Many Cities, States Use U.S. GAAP to File Reports? GASB Studying.

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is gathering information and building a model that tracks the number of cities and states that actually use U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), chair Joel Black said. The data will inform the board about the environment in which it is setting standards as well as provide information to the SEC, Black told the Financial Accounting Foundation’s (FAF) Standard-Setting Process Oversight Committee on February 23. The information would be useful to the SEC’s implementation of the Financial Data Transparency Act (FDTA), especially with respect to “the subset of governments that are in the debt market that utilize GASB GAAP and those that don’t,” he said. “And we will be able to segregate that out for them and provide that information to them.” The FDTA requires the SEC to require any information filed with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) to have a data standard. This would encompass the municipal bond market, which uses GAAP that is developed by GASB. The board is working on developing a data standard for how governmental financial statements should be portrayed electronically. The technology will be usable for Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) filings and other technologies. Ultimately, this may or may not become a part of the FDTA implementation, depending upon what the SEC does, according to prior board discussions. GASB’s research is expected to be completed by the end of the year.