Reexamination of Existing Standards

FASAB Contact: Monica Valentine, fasab@fasab.gov, 202-512-7350

Project Objective:

The objective of the reexamination project is to reexamine FASAB’s existing standards to assess their current relevance and to identify opportunities to streamline authoritative guidance. The Board believes that the accounting standards should be periodically reexamined to assess their current applicability and to eliminate or revise unnecessary requirements. In this project, the Board is exploring opportunities to review and reexamine existing SFFASs and other pronouncements, as appropriate, and identify areas where clarification or amendments may be needed.  The Board also agreed to research both the benefits of and concerns with FASAB’s current GAAP hierarchy. The reexamination project is expected to address issues related to (1) inconsistencies with current practice, (2) confusion or difficulties applying requirements, (3) the need for clarifications, and (4) the usefulness of disclosures and other required information.

History of Board Activities

August 24-25, 2021

At the August Board meeting’s technical agenda setting session, the members approved moving the reexamination project from the Board’s research agenda to an active technical project.

June 22-23, 2021

At the June 2021 meeting, staff requested the Board’s feedback on potential approaches to advance the reexamination of existing standards research topic and consider the project during the August technical agenda deliberations.

Ms. Roberta Reese, GASB senior project manager, provided the Board with an overview of GASB’s process for selecting topics for reexamination.

A majority of members agreed with staff’s recommendation to further research both the benefits of and concerns with FASAB’s current GAAP hierarchy.

The members also agreed that the community’s input on the project’s approach will be important and agreed with staff’s recommendation to consider soliciting feedback through an invitation to comment as a first step to the reexamination project.

Briefing materials – Topic C

 December 15-16, 2020

At the December 2020 meeting, the Board discussed and approved the technical plan for the reexamination of existing standards project. The research project’s objective is to reexamine FASAB’s existing standards to assess their current relevance and to identify opportunities to streamline Board guidance. The Board has previously stated that the accounting standards should be periodically reexamined to assess their current applicability and to eliminate or revise unnecessary requirements. The research topic will address issues related to (1) inconsistencies with current practice, (2) confusion or difficulties applying requirements, (3) need for clarifications, and (4) usefulness of disclosures and other required information.  During the initial research phase, staff will perform an assessment of existing standards and develop options for Board consideration.

During the meeting, staff discussed that extensive project planning will need to be developed and approved by the Board before any project work begins. The project plan itself will take several months and will require the input of the full staff. It took thirty years to create the full portfolio of pronouncements and there has never been an effort to reexamine that portfolio. The reexamination project will better prepare FASAB for codification of the guidance, which is a goal of the Board’s. Several potential approaches and factors are being considered for the reexamination project, including looking at reexamination topically, reviewing terminology used throughout the guidance, and considering user needs, as well as assessing the cost/benefits of the guidance. Staff agreed to return to the Board in the coming months to provide a more detailed project plan and options for tackling the reexamination project.

Briefing materials – TAB D