Intangible Assets Task Force
FASAB Contact: Josh R. Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-512-4051
Task Force Objectives
As part of the previous intangible assets research topic, staff worked with a task force to (1) identify existing intangible assets throughout federal reporting entities, (2) consider the benefits to users of federal financial reports from reporting such intangible assets, and (3) consider if preparers can reasonably measure and recognize the identified intangible assets in the financial reports.
As a result of the Board adding an intangible assets project to the Technical Agenda, staff will form working groups from task force volunteers to accomplish the Board approved project objectives to (1) develop updates for software reporting guidance and (2) develop a working definition of intangible assets for the Board’s internal use.
Task Force History:
March 21, 2023
Staff hosted a meeting with the working group to discuss a framework for a cost-benefit analysis on different financial reporting options for cloud-service arrangements. The analysis will specifically consider the potential user benefits and preparer costs for the following cloud-service arrangement reporting options: (1) asset/liability recognition, (2) commitment disclosure, (3) expense disclosure, and (4) expense recognition only. During the meeting, prepares and auditors shared their views on the costs and benefits of each reporting option. Staff plans to finalize the cost-benefit analysis to present to the Board during the April 2023 meeting.
July 13, 2022
Staff hosted a meeting with the working group to discuss material for an issues paper that will provide a deep-dive analysis on whether cloud-service arrangements in the federal environment could potentially be considered assets for financial reporting purposes. The issues paper will specifically address (1) cloud computing characteristics, service models, and deployment models (2) categories of cloud-service arrangements, (3) a cloud-service arrangement asset framework, and (4) the benefits and challenges of reporting cloud-service arrangements as assets. Staff plans to finalize the issues paper to present to the Board during the August 2022 meeting.
December 16, 2021
Staff hosted a meeting with the working group to discuss research material for an issues paper that will depict a framework for software related guidance needs and an approach for developing guidance updates. The issues paper will particularly address (1) definitions of software-related resources applicable among federal entities, (2) a scope of software-related resources for future reporting guidance updates, (3) a comparison of current software guidance between FASAB and other standard setting bodies, and (4) the pros and cons of rescinding versus amending existing guidance for updates. Staff plans to finalize the issues paper to present to the Board during the February 2022 meeting.
September 23, 2021
Staff hosted a meeting to provide the task force with updates on the Board’s recent decision to add an intangible assets project to the technical agenda. Staff also explained plans to form a working group from current task force volunteers as well as new volunteers to accomplish the Board approved project objectives to (1) develop updates for software reporting guidance and (2) develop a working definition of intangible assets for the Board’s internal use. Staff encouraged task force members that have an interest in either two objectives to join the working group. Specifically, for the first objective, volunteers should have a general familiarity with federal financial reporting and knowledge of accounting, procurement, or operational issues with federal information technology. Staff explained that volunteers can assist by providing insight, suggestions, and feedback on financial reporting guidance needs for various software-type assets in the federal government.
May 12, 2021
Staff hosted a task force meeting to discuss the survey results and other research findings. During the meeting, staff addressed potential intangible assets identified throughout federal reporting entities along with associated reporting benefits and recognition concerns. Staff then presented approaches for intangible asset guidance to propose to the Board during the June meeting and requested feedback before preparing final presentation material.
February 17, 2021
At the first intangible asset task force meeting, staff established the initial task force objectives, discussed potential federal intangible assets, and presented a draft version of the task force survey. The survey objectives are to gather information about (1) intangible assets that exist throughout federal reporting entities and (2) potential benefits to recognizing such intangible assets in federal financial reports. After considering feedback from task force members, staff made further edits to the survey and issued the final version for task force members to complete by March 12, 2021.