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US Week in Review - Week ending 19 January 2012

The US Week in Review highlights this week’s developments and emerging issues in the financial reporting world and gives you direct access to relevant technical accounting guidance and thought leadership produced by Ernst & Young.

Certain materials referenced below are available exclusively in AccountingLink. The site is available free of charge, but requires a one-time registration.

Ernst & Young publications


To the Point: PCAOB seeks comment on expanded audit committee communication

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is seeking comment on a proposal that would require auditors to modify and expand their communications with audit committees beyond what the PCAOB and the Securities and Exchange Commission currently require.

Our To the Point publication summarizes the proposal and provides some questions for audit committees to consider in commenting to the PCAOB.

Standard Setter Update now available

Our 2011 Standard Setter Update - Financial reporting and accounting developments publication highlights significant developments in financial accounting and reporting through 31 December 2011 and summarizes certain proposals presently under consideration by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Auditing Standards Board, the Emerging Issues Task Force, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.

New edition of Practical matters for the c-suite, Time for real estate entities to prepare for fair value?

Our new edition of Practical matters for the c-suite, Time for real estate entities to prepare for fair value?, complements our recent Technical Line and To the Point publications on the FASB's recent proposal on the accounting for real estate investment property entities and explores how the proposal would affect an organization's finance, tax, IT systems and business processes. The Practical matters for the c-suite series is produced by our Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) group and is intended to help companies assess the potential effect of accounting proposals on their organizations.

Standard Setter updates


Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)

2012 US GAAP XBRL Taxonomy released

The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), which oversees the FASB, announced the availability of the 2012 US GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy (2012 Taxonomy) pending approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The 2012 Taxonomy is available at the FASB website and may be used only for SEC XBRL Exhibit submissions after it is adopted by the SEC. Until then, companies should continue to use the 2011 or 2009 versions. The FAF also published a taxonomy viewer and released guidance that describes changes from the 2011 Taxonomy.

The changes reflect recent accounting standards updates, common practices identified in filing reviews, error corrections and other changes to the taxonomy structure and existing tags. Companies may want to review the changes and discuss how they will affect existing tag selections with their XBRL service providers. Although not required, registrants may opt to incorporate new 2012 Taxonomy element names as company extension element names for current XBRL submissions, which could save time (1) developing definitions, (2) conforming to the 2012 Taxonomy after the SEC approves it and (3) assessing superseded tags.

Upcoming meetings and webcasts

The Board is tentatively scheduled to meet on 25 January 2012, and is also tentatively scheduled to meet via videoconference with the IASB on 25 and 27 January 2012. See the FASB calendar for details.

Education sessions

See the FASB calendar for upcoming education sessions. No decisions are made at these sessions.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies to meet

The SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies (the Committee) will hold its next public meeting on 1 February 2012. The Committee focuses on the priorities and interests of privately held small businesses and publicly traded companies (i.e., those with less than $250 million in capitalization). A webcast of the meeting will be available on the Commission's website.

At its telephonic meeting on 6 January 2012, the Committee voted to recommend that the Commission relax restrictions on general solicitation and advertising in exempt offerings that are limited to accredited investors.

Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

New appointments to the GASB

The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) has announced the appointment of William W. Fish and James E. Brown to the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB). Mr. Fish is a municipal securities investment manager and analyst, and Mr. Brown is an auditor of governments and government organizations. Mr. Fish was named to a four-and-a-half-year term beginning 1 February 2012; he succeeds Michael D. Belsky, who resigned in October 2011. Mr. Brown was appointed to a five-year term beginning 1 July 2012; he will succeed James M. Williams, whose term expires on 30 June 2012.

International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)

IASB proposal on IFRS Taxonomy 2012

The IASB has issued for public comment an exposure draft of the IFRS Taxonomy 2012.The proposed Taxonomy is consistent with IFRS, including IAS and the IFRS for SMEs. The IFRS Taxonomy 2012 is a translation of IFRS as issued at 1 January 2012 into XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language). Comments on the exposure draft are due by 17 March 2012.

IAASB summarizes feedback on its discussion paper on the evolving nature of financial reporting

The IAASB recently released a Feedback Statement on the responses to its January 2011 Discussion Paper, The Evolving Nature of Financial Reporting: Disclosure and Its Audit Implications. The Discussion Paper solicited views and perspectives of different stakeholder groups on the challenges arising as financial reporting continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of users.

Upcoming Thought center webcasts and podcasts


2011-12 Tax risk and controversy survey
A new era for global risk and uncertainty
9 February 2012, 10:00 a.m. Eastern time

Bottom-line benefits of sustainable business practices 
Global survey results and discussion of action steps - a webcast by Ernst & Young LLP and GreenBiz
19 March 2012, 1:00 p.m. Eastern time

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