It’s been a busy fall for IMA’s Financial Reporting Committee (FRC). This committee – whose members include preparers of financial statements from some of the largest companies in the world, professionals from Big Four accounting firms, academics, and analysts – represents IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) before standard-setting bodies. Led by Nancy Schroeder, CPA, the committee advocates on behalf of members and issues comments on proposed standards of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). 

Recent activities include:

FASB Meeting

At part of its advocacy efforts, the committee conducts an annual liaison meeting with the FASB and the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF). The purpose is to discuss the FASB’s agenda projects and a variety of other issues and challenges that may impact public and private companies. This year’s meeting, an audio recording of which is available on the FASB website, took place on September 5 in Norwalk, Conn. Heather Bain and John Exline of IMA’s Small Business Committee also participated in the meeting and contributed the perspective of small businesses. 

The meeting began with an FAF update by John Auchincloss, FAF acting president, who discussed FAF priorities and provided an update on some key leadership transitions.

The committee then heard remarks from Russell Golden, FASB chair, and several senior FASB staff members, who discussed Golden’s goals for his final year as chair. Next, Schroeder and several other FRC members provided feedback and comments on numerous current standard-setting projects that the FASB is working on, including those related to segment reporting, income taxes, hedge accounting, rate reform, and goodwill and intangibles.

Remarked Shari Littan CPA, JD, IMA manager, corporate reporting technical activities, and FRC staff liaison, “This meeting helps the FRC advocate on behalf of IMA’s constituency. Just as importantly, however, this annual meeting benefits the FAF, FASB, and staff to listen directly and understand the professional perspectives among our highly talented and engaged committee.”

Comment Letters

Following that meeting, the FRC authored several comment letters on key issues under consideration by the FASB. Most notably, on October 7, the committee shared its views on FASB’s Invitation to Comment (ITC), Identifiable Intangible Assets and Subsequent Accounting for Goodwill. The ITC raised a number of issues regarding goodwill and intangibles, including amortization by public business entities and impairment assessments.  The FRC’s letter communicates several points of consensus, including its support of the FASB’s attention to the issue and standard-setting projects, like this one, that aim to simplify impairment assessments. The committee also agreed that if the FASB mandates amortization, it should apply to all public business entities; optional accounting is unfavorable. On several key points, however, there were differences of opinion among FRC members regarding other aspects of the accounting for goodwill, particularly the reintroduction of amortization for public business entities.

A copy of the comment letter is available here.

In addition, the committee worked alongside IMA’s Small Business Committee to issue a joint comment letter, dated September 18, in response to the FASB’s exposure draft, Proposed ASU No. 2019-750, Financial Instruments—Credit Losses, Derivatives and Hedging, and Leases. In general, both committees support the proposal, because it offers additional time to assess the effects of major standards on SEC filers before requiring adoption by other entities. That letter is available here.

Going forward, the FRC will continue its collaborative efforts with the FASB, SEC, PCAOB, and IASB to address relevant issues and offer practical solutions that are important to IMA members and accounting and finance professionals. 

For more information about the FRC, including other comment letters issued by the committee, please visit the Financial Reporting Committee page on the IMA website. For additional information about the committee, contact Shari Littan at or +1 (201) 474-1677.