FASB Issues New Guidance on the Recognition and Measurement of Financial Instrument
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) today issued an Accounting Standards Update (ASU) intended to improve the recognition and measurement of financial instruments. The ASU affects public and private companies, not-for-profit organizations, and employee benefit plans that hold financial assets or owe financial liabilities.
“The new standard is intended to provide users of financial statements with more useful information on the recognition, measurement, presentation, and disclosure of financial instruments,” stated FASB Chairman Russell G. Golden. “It improves the accounting model to better meet the requirements of today’s complex economic environment.”
The new guidance makes targeted improvements to existing GAAP by:
- Requiring equity investments (except those accounted for under the equity method of accounting, or those that result in consolidation of the investee) to be measured at fair value with changes in fair value recognized in net income
- Requiring public business entities to use the exit price notion when measuring the fair value of financial instruments for disclosure purposes
- Requiring separate presentation of financial assets and financial liabilities by measurement category and form of financial asset (that is, securities or loans and receivables) on the balance sheet or the accompanying notes to the financial statements
- Eliminating the requirement to disclose the fair value of financial instruments measured at amortized cost for organizations that are not public business entities
- Eliminating the requirement for public business entities to disclose the method(s) and significant assumptions used to estimate the fair value that is required to be disclosed for financial instruments measured at amortized cost on the balance sheet, and
- Requiring a reporting organization to present separately in other comprehensive income the portion of the total change in the fair value of a liability resulting from a change in the instrument-specific credit risk (also referred to as “own credit”) when the organization has elected to measure the liability at fair value in accordance with the fair value option for financial instruments.
The ASU on recognition and measurement will take effect for public companies for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those fiscal years. For private companies, not-for-profit organizations, and employee benefit plans, the standard becomes effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, and for interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019.
The ASU permits early adoption of the own credit provision (referenced above). Additionally, it permits early adoption of the provision that exempts private companies and not-for-profit organizations from having to disclose fair value information about financial instruments measured at amortized cost.