The Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council (FASAC) held its regular quarterly meeting on Thursday, December 14, 2017. The following topics were discussed:
- Technology in Financial Reporting: FASAC members participated in an educational discussion about cloud computing and blockchain technology. In relation to blockchain, FASAC members discussed the underlying technology and its potential commercial applications. Some of the other areas of focus were on cryptocurrency; data security; data availability, storage costs and solutions, and increases in computing speed; evolutions in the development and maintenance of software; and different regulatory requirements related to storing financial reporting-related data with third-party vendors in cloud computing arrangements.
- The Pace of Change and Implementation of Recent Major Standards: FASAC members discussed their experiences in implementing new accounting standards and commented on the level of effort and implementation resources used, the time needed, and perspectives and challenges.
- Segment Reporting: FASAC members discussed the FASB’s segment reporting project. Some Council members questioned the objective of the project and the operationality of various alternatives that will be considered by the Board in the project. Other Council members, in particular investors and users, supported the project and the idea of requiring segment disclosures to be reported in a table. Other aspects of segment reporting discussed during the session included the application of the management approach (given advances in technology and the information available to the chief operating decision maker), and the lack of comparability of segment information across companies and the frequency of restating operating segments within a company over time.
The FASB Chairman provided highlights on FASB activities that were not otherwise on the agenda for the Council meeting. SEC and PCAOB staff members also commented on current issues and activities. FASAC members asked about potential FASB and SEC responses to recent legislation involving a potential bill on tax reform.
The next FASAC meeting will be held on March 20, 2018. For more information on FASAC, visit the FASB website.