IASB and FASB Harmonise Fair Value and Disclosure Requirements
The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and Financial Accounting
Standards Board (FASB) have issued new guidance on fair value measurement and disclosure requirements for International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and US generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
The guidance, set out in IFRS 13 Fair Value Measurement and an update to Topic 820 in the FASB’s Accounting Standards Codification (formerly referred to as SFAS 157), completes a major project of the boards’ joint work to improve IFRSs and US GAAP and to bring about their convergence.
The harmonisation of fair value measurement and disclosure requirements internationally forms an important element of the boards’ response to the global financial crisis. Completion of the project is the culmination of more than five years’ work to improve and align fair value measurement and disclosure requirements.
For IFRSs, IFRS 13 Fair Value Measurement will improve consistency and reduce complexity by providing, for the first time, a precise definition of fair value and a single source of fair value measurement and disclosure requirements for use across IFRSs. For US GAAP, the update will supersede most of the guidance in Topic 820, although many of the changes are clarifications of existing guidance or wording changes to align with IFRS 13. It also reflects the FASB’s consideration of the different characteristics of public and non-public entities and the needs of users of their financial statements. Non-public entities will be exempt from a number of the new disclosure requirements.
Leslie Seidman, chairman of the FASB, said: “This update represents another positive step toward the shared goal of globally converged accounting standards. Having a consistent meaning of the term ‘fair value’ will improve the consistency of financial information around the world. We are also responding to the request for enhanced disclosures about the assumptions used in fair value measurements.”