The Analyst's Accounting Observer is a research service dedicated to making investors and analysts aware of the investment impact of accounting issues.

The Accounting Observer explains new, complex or misunderstood accounting issues so investors and analysts can understand them for making their own judgements about the realism of corporate stories and spin. Since 1992, our reports have presented discussion and analysis of current financial accounting topics in ways that make sense to financial analysts. home-line

Recent Letters

SEC: The SEC invites comment on the PCAOB's proposed standard reforming the auditor's report. Our view is stated here.

FASB: The FASB has invited all constituents to offer their views on which projects they should address next. Our suggestions are here.

SEC: The SEC issued its “Report on Modernization and Simplification of Regulation S-K”, which suggests the elimination of some investor-useful information. Our comments are here.

SEC: The SEC proposed the elimination of certain rules that have been superseded or may provide overlapping information with FASB requirements. Some of it would be harmless to investors, some could result in the loss of information. Our comments are here.

PCAOB: The Board has re-proposed a standard that would amplify and in our view, improve, the auditor’s report. Our response to the proposal is here.

SEC: The SEC issued a Concept Release that, essentially, re-imagines Regulation S-K disclosures. Our thoughts and comments are here.

FASB: The Board has proposed revisions to benefit plan disclosures that would eliminate some currently useful investor information, while adding some at the same time. Our response to the proposal is here.

FASB: The Board has proposed a disclosure standard that would let investors know the nature and level of financial assistance that companies receive from governments. Our response to the proposal is here.

FASB: The Board proposed a change to the definition of materiality in disclosures and also proposed a change to its Conceptual Framework to match. Our response to both proposals is here.

PCAOB: Our response to the Board’s proposed Concept Release On “Audit Quality Indicators,” Release No. 2015-005.

In The News

Fortune (online), July 25, 2017:  The Incredible Shrinking Procter & Gamble Versus Nelson Peltzby Shawn Tully

The New York Times, April 24, 2016: "Fantasy Math Is Helping Companies Spin Losses Into Profits," by Gretchen Morgenson

Bloomberg.com, March 1, 2016:  "Fuzzy-Math Accounting Chided by Buffett Gets Fresh SEC Scrutiny," by Dave Michaels

Fortune (online), February 2, 2016: “ Apple Has Wasted Billions on Buybacks,” by Shawn Tully.

New York Times, January 3, 2016: “ FASB Proposes to Curb What Companies Must Disclose,” by Gretchen Morgenson.

New York Times, Fair Game column, June 18, 2015: “Tech Companies Fly High on Fantasy Accounting,” by Gretchen Morgenson.

Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2015: “Valeant’s Disclosure: Why Now?,” by Michael Rapoport.