Tentative Board Decisions
Tentative Board decisions are provided for those interested in following
the Board’s deliberations. All of the reported decisions are tentative and may
be changed at future Board meetings.February 18, 2015 FASB
Framework—Measurement. The Board continued its deliberations, discussing
different methods of determining carrying amounts and changes in carrying
amounts. The Board decided that the following general categories of methods
should be discussed in the proposed Concepts Statement chapter on measurement:
The Board’s next step will be to
discuss the circumstances in which the different categories might be
appropriate. In addition, the Board will consider ways to improve the
descriptions of those methods.
- Prices in transactions in which the entity participated
- Current prices observed or estimated by the entity
- Discounted or undiscounted estimates of future cash flows other than
estimates of market prices
- Other adjustments to carrying amount: accruals, systematic allocations,
and allowances for impairments.
Accounting for Fees in a Cloud Computing Arrangement. The Board
redeliberated changes proposed in the August 2014 Exposure Draft,
Intangibles—Goodwill and Other—Internal-Use Software (Subtopic 350-40):
Customer’s Accounting for Fees Paid in a Cloud Computing Arrangement, in
light of feedback received through comment letters and other
Changes to the FASB Accounting Standards
The Board affirmed its proposal that customers in
cloud computing arrangements would determine whether a contract is a software
license or a service contract by applying the guidance that cloud service
providers currently use to make that determination (that is, incorporate
paragraphs 985-605-55-121 through 55-123 into Subtopic 350-40 of the
In addition, the Board decided:
Transition, Effective Date, and Early Adoption
- Not to expand the scope of the final Update to include the accounting for
upfront costs incurred in cloud computing arrangements
- That additional guidance about the application of the criteria included in
paragraphs 350-40-15-4A through 15-4B is not necessary
- To supersede paragraph 350-40-25-16 of the Codification as part of the
final Update, meaning that customers will no longer analogize to the leases
guidance in Topic 840 in determining the asset acquired in a software
licensing arrangement; rather, customers will account for acquired software
licenses in the same manner as the other acquired intangible
The Board affirmed its proposal to allow reporting entities to choose between a
retrospective or prospective transition method. By prospective transition, the
Board means an entity would apply the guidance in the final Update to all cloud
computing arrangements entered into, or materially modified, after the effective
The Board also affirmed the proposed effective date of the changes:
In addition, the Board affirmed its proposal to allow all
entities the option to early adopt the changes.
- Public business entities would initially apply the change in annual
periods, including interim periods within those annual periods, beginning
after December 15, 2015.
- All other entities would initially apply the change in the first annual
period beginning after December 15, 2015, and interim periods
The Board affirmed its proposal that an entity electing
the prospective transition method should disclose, in the period of the change,
the nature of and reason for the change in accounting principle, the transition
method, and a qualitative description of the financial statement line items
affected by the change.
In addition, the Board affirmed its proposal that
an entity applying the retrospective transition method should provide
quantitative disclosures about the effect of the change, such as those required
by Topic 250, Accounting Changes and Error Corrections.
to Proceed to a Ballot Draft
The Board directed the staff to draft
a final Accounting Standards Update for vote by written ballot.
Improvements to the Accounting for Long-Duration Contracts. The Board
continued redeliberations, discussing alternative methods for simplifying the
amortization of deferred acquisition costs.
Deferred acquisition costs
relating to certain investment contracts would continue to be amortized using an
effective interest method.
Deferred acquisition costs for all other types
of long-duration contracts would be amortized over the expected life of a book
of contracts in proportion to the amount of insurance in force. When the amount
of insurance in force is variable and cannot be reliably predicted or is
otherwise not readily determinable, however, a straight-line method in
proportion to the number of contracts outstanding would be used.
At future Board meetings, the Board will continue to
deliberate other targeted improvements to accounting for long-duration
Framework: Disclosure Review—Fair Value Measurement. The Board discussed how
it might change disclosure requirements to further promote the use of discretion
by reporting entities. The Board also discussed how some of those changes could
be applied to disclosures about fair value measurements.
decided the disclosure Section in a Topic:
The Board decided that
although materiality is a legal concept that varies by jurisdiction, the
guidance would not explicitly acknowledge those variances.
- Would state that an entity should provide the disclosures to the extent
- Would not include language that limits the use of discretion (for example,
“An entity shall at a minimum provide…”)
- Would include a reference to Topic 235, Notes to Financial Statements, and
the Board would modify that Topic to provide additional guidance on applying
materiality to note disclosures. That guidance would include:
- Materiality is applied to disclosures individually and in the aggregate;
therefore, some, all, or none of the requirements in a disclosure Section
may be material.
- A disclosure is material if it meets the U.S. Supreme Court’s
description of materiality, which comes from court cases and
- Consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s description, qualitative and
quantitative disclosures generally should be evaluated as material based on
whether there is a substantial likelihood that the omitted disclosure would
have been viewed by a reasonable user as having significantly altered the
total mix of information made available in making a decision.
- If an entity does not provide a GAAP disclosure because management has
concluded the information is not material, the omission should not be
considered an accounting error.
decided that when setting disclosures requirements, it would not distinguish
between a minimum and expanded set of disclosures.
The Board decided
that, in general, the objectives for disclosures within each Topic would be
developed using the decision questions from the proposed concepts that are used
to identify relevant disclosure requirements. Specifically, the objective for
the disclosures in Topic 820, Fair Value Measurement, would be as follows:
- The objective of the following disclosures is to provide users of
financial statements with information useful in assessing the following:
- The different ways an entity arrives at its measures of fair value,
including the judgments and assumptions that the entity makes
- The effects of changes in fair value on the amounts reported in
- The uncertainty in the fair value measurement of assets and
- How fair value measurements change from period to
the Presentation of Debt Issuance Cost. The Board redeliberated the October
2014 Proposed Accounting Standards Update, Interest—Imputation of Interest
(Subtopic 835-30): Simplifying the Presentation of Debt Issuance Cost, in
light of stakeholder feedback received.
Presentation of Debt Issuance
The Board affirmed the proposal to require that debt issuance
costs be presented in the balance sheet as a direct deduction from the carrying
amount of the debt liability, in the same manner as debt discounts or premiums.
The Board affirmed the proposal to
require retrospective application of the change to all periods presented in the
affirmed the proposal to require disclosure of the nature of and reason for the
change in accounting principle, a description of the prior-period information
that has been retrospectively adjusted, and the effect of the change on the
financial statement line items.
Effective Date and Early
The Board decided that public business entities would be
required to apply the change in annual periods, and interim periods within those
annual periods, beginning after December 15, 2015. Nonpublic entities would
apply the change in annual periods beginning after December 15, 2015, and
interim periods beginning after December 15, 2016. The Board decided to allow
all entities the option of early application.
The Board directed the staff to draft an Accounting Standards
Update for vote by written ballot.