Project Update

Disclosure Framework—Board's Decision Process

Last updated on November 3, 2014. Please refer to the Current Technical Plan for information about the expected release dates of exposure documents and final standards.

(Updated sections are indicated with an asterisk *)

The staff has prepared this summary of Board decisions for information purposes only. Those Board decisions are tentative and do not change current accounting. Official positions of the FASB are determined only after extensive due process and deliberations.

Project Objective and Overview
Due Process Documents
Decisions Reached at Last Meeting
Tentative Board Decisions Reached to Date
Next Steps
*Board/Other Public Meeting Dates
Resource Group and Other Outreach
Background Information
Contact Information
 

Project Objective and Overview

The objective and primary focus of the Disclosure Framework project is to improve the effectiveness of disclosures in notes to financial statements by clearly communicating the information that is most important to users of each entity’s financial statements. (Although reducing the volume of the notes to financial statements is not the primary focus, the Board hopes that a sharper focus on important information will result in reduced volume in most cases.)

The objective of improving effectiveness will require development of a framework that promotes consistent decisions about disclosure requirements by the Board and the appropriate exercise of discretion by reporting entities. To achieve this objective, the Disclosure Framework project comprises two components: the Board’s Decision Process and the Entity’s Decision Process.

The Board’s Decision Process is intended to aid the FASB in identifying disclosures to be considered when setting disclosure requirements for individual accounting standards and evaluating existing disclosures requirement. A disclosure that may be considered by the FASB will not automatically be required. This process involves the FASB and its staff continuing to evaluate the costs, negative consequences and benefits associated with each potential disclosure at the standard level.

Currently four disclosure areas are being evaluated as part of the Disclosure Framework project. The Board’s decision process and the entity’s decision process are being used in conjunction to modify the disclosure sections in the following Topics:
  1. Fair Value Measurement (820-10-50)
  2. Defined Benefit Plans (715-20-50)
  3. Income Taxes (740-10-50)
  4. Inventory (330-10-50)
The intention is that the current requirements are improved through the consideration of the concepts in the Board’s decision process as well as the promotion of discretion.

Additionally, disclosure requirements for Interim Reporting are being evaluated for modifications.

The FASB staff has developed a “Q&A: FASB’s Disclosure Framework Project” fact sheet which can be viewed here.

Due Process Documents

On March 4, 2014, the FASB issued the Exposure Draft, Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting: Chapter 8 Notes to Financial Statements. The due date for comment letters was July 14, 2014.

On July 12, 2012, the Board issued Invitation to Comment – Disclosure Framework. The original due date for comment letters was set for November 16, 2012 but due to Hurricane Sandy the comment period was extended two weeks to November 30, 2012.

Decisions Reached at Last Meeting (November 12, 2013)

No decisions have been made since the issuance of the Exposure Draft, Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting: Chapter 8 Notes to Financial Statements. See meeting minutes.

Tentative Board Decisions Reached to Date (as of March 4, 2014)

See the proposed chapter.

Next Steps

The staff is using comments received on the Exposure Draft, as well as the Topic-specific disclosure reviews being performed to understand how the proposed chapter should be modified. Please refer to the current technical plan for information about the project timeline.

*Board/Other Public Meeting Dates

*The FASB will hold a forum to discuss financial disclosures on December 1, 2014. Pace University will be hosting the event at the Schimmel Center in New York City. The forum is designed to provide an opportunity to engage in a constructive dialogue regarding the current state of financial disclosure and some of the current efforts that are underway to improve the effectiveness of such disclosures. Click here to register to observe the forum.

The Board meeting minutes are provided for the information and convenience of constituents who want to follow the Board’s deliberations. All of the conclusions reported are tentative and may be changed at future Board meetings. Decisions become final only after a formal written ballot to issue a final standard.


September 10, 2014 Board Meeting—Comment Letter Summary and Possible Next Steps
November 6, 2013 Board Meeting—Interim Reporting, Scope of the Board’s Decision Process, and Permission to Ballot
October 9, 2013 Board Meeting—Additions and other Changes to the Board’s Decision Process and Interim Reporting
August 7, 2013 Board Meeting—The needs of providers of resources to not-for-profit entities and Line Items Decision Questions
July 25, 2013 Board Meeting—Role of the Notes, and SEC Disclosure Overlap within the Financial Report, and Other Regulatory Disclosure Overlap outside the Financial Report
June 19, 2013 Board Meeting—Forward-Looking Disclosure Information, Decision Questions, and Changes to the Technical Plan
February 13, 2013 Board Meeting—Comment Letter Summary and Analysis of Comments and Possible Next Steps
April 25, 2012 Board Meeting —Interim Disclosures and Cost Consequence
August 24, 2011 Board Meeting—Decision Process for Disclosures about Line Items
August 18, 2010 Board Meeting—Objectives, Principles, and Criteria for Use in Setting Standards for Required Disclosures of Financial Information

July 8, 2009

Board MeetingAgenda Announcement

Resource Group and Other Outreach

The Board established a resource group to help identify key issues with existing disclosures and evaluate proposed solutions. The membership of that group includes academics, analysts, auditors, preparers, and regulators. The staff consults informally with members of the resource group as needed. The group met with Board members and staff on October 28, 2011. Future meetings will be scheduled if necessary.

The FASB, in conjunction with the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), held two forums on disclosure effectiveness designed to encourage dialogue among a wide range of financial reporting stakeholders on improving the effectiveness of disclosures in notes to financial statements and other parts of the financial reporting package. The forums were held at Columbia University’s Center for Excellence in Accounting and Security Analysis in New York City on October 4, and at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in Stanford, California, on October 8, 2012.

Background Information

On July 8, 2009, the FASB chairman announced (press release) the addition of a new agenda project aimed at establishing an overarching framework intended to make financial statement disclosures more effective, coordinated, and less redundant. The project was added in response to requests and recommendations received from several constituents, including the Investors Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Advisory Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting (Recommendations 1.2 and 1.3).

The staffs of the Board and the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) have cooperated in the development of the ideas discussed in this Invitation to Comment and a similar discussion paper issued by EFRAG.

Contact Information

Ron Lott
Research Director
rwlott@fasb.org

Nick Cappiello
Project Manager
ntcappiello@fasb.org

Jaime Dordik
Assistant Project Manager
jadordik@fasb.org

Danika Tibbetts
Postgraduate Technical Assistant
drtibbetts@fasb.org

Kelsey Jensen
Postgraduate Technical Assistant
kpjensen@fasb.org