Intangibles, ESG and digital assets: FASB introduces new research agenda in ongoing response to feedback
The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) recently held a first discussion on feedback to its agenda consultation, and launched new research plans.
The purpose of the FASB’s Invitation to Comment (ITC), published in September, was to solicit broad stakeholder feedback on the Board’s future standard-setting agenda. This will be used to ensure that “the FASB continues to allocate its finite resources to achievable standard-setting projects that fulfill its primary mission of improving financial accounting and reporting standards and addressing topics that are of the highest priority to its stakeholders.”
At its 15 December meeting, the Board held a preliminary discussion of the feedback from the ITC in relation to both its current agenda and future direction, a process which will continue into this year. FASB Chair Rich Jones also announced comprehensive changes to the FASB research agenda, developed in response to the ITC feedback. The research agenda is distinct in that it is set by the Chair; projects may be added to the technical agenda with the agreement of the Board.
Among the projects now comprising the FASB’s new research agenda is one on accounting for and disclosure of intangibles, to include software costs, internally developed intangibles, and research and development. Other projects will address financial instruments with environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-linked features and regulatory credits, and exchange-traded digital assets and commodities. Feedback will be sought on further possible priorities, including accounting for government grants. As our readers will no doubt agree, these are currently interesting and fast-moving areas for reporting, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of this research.
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