Thursday, August 25, 2011

IASB Equivalents to FASB Pronouncements

Since the signing of the Norwalk Agreement, the Internaltional Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has released several pronouncements that are equal to or are similar to those issued by Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).  Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts (SFAC) and Statements of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) are issued by FASB.  International Accounting Standards (IAS) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are either issued or endorsed by IASB. Standards addressing Segment Reporting, Discontinues Operations, and Valuation of Intangible Assets are examples of the equivalent or similar standards among the IASB and FASB.

Segment Reporting
Segment Reporting is addressed in IFRS No. 8 and SFAS No. 131.  Per SFAS No. 131, companies are required to report information regarding segment profit or loss, including certain revenues and expenses included in reported segment profit or loss, segment assets and the basis of measurement; though, IFRS No. 8 is almost identical to SFAS No. 131, it also requires companies to disclose total liabilities of its reportable segments.

Discontinued Operations
Discontinued Operations are referenced in SFAS No. 144 and IFRS No. 5.  According to SFAS No. 144, a discontinued operation is a component of an entity whose operations and cash flows can be clearly distinguished from the rest of the entity that has either been disposed of or classified as held for sale; whereas IFRS No. 5 defines a discontinued operation as a component of an entity that has been disposed of and held for sale but considers a component of an entity to be either a major line of business or geographical area of operations.  The IASB’s definition of discontinued operations of a company is less broad than that of the FASB because it addresses a specific line of business or geographical area.

Valuation of Intangible Assets
Valuation of Intangible Assets is addressed in IAS No. 38 and SFAS No. 141.  According to IAS No. 38 companies must value an intangible asset subsequent to initial valuation at either cost less accumulated amortization or fair value if fair value can be determined by reference to active market.  According to SFAS No. 141, "an intangible asset must be recognized as an asset apart from goodwill if it arises from contractual or other legal rights or is separable".   Unlike US GAAP, IAS allows revaluation of intangible assets.  If a company chooses the revaluation method for a class of intangible assets under IAS No. 38, it must revalue those assets on a regular basis.  Unlike the first two standards mentioned, the Valuation of Intangible Assets is significantly different and both the FASB and IASB should attempt to clarify this standard for easier reporting.

Reference
"Intermediate Accounting", David Spiceland, 2009

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