Accounting Issues: 2010 Reviewed, 2011 Previewed: Because of the dynamic nature of business and financial innovation, financial reporting changes constantly. The 2010 financial statements you’ll read in a few weeks won’t look quite the same - or have exactly the same meaning - as the financial statements you’ll read in another year or two. To get a handle on where financial reporting is going - mostly due to financial innovations and sketchy reporting already occurring - it’s wise to annually take stock of the FASB’s agenda. An accounting issue appearing on their agenda is somehow deficient in serving the FASB’s constituents, and needs repair.
The Board probably worked more frantically than in years past, but had no monolithic standards to show for it. It issued many refinements of existing standards, but they were not the reason for the Board’s activity. What consumed the FASB in 2010: its focus on converging major standards with the International Accounting Standards Board by mid- 2011. The two boards worked furiously on those projects; for the FASB, the due process on the financial instruments at fair value project consumed a great deal of their time and resources during the year.
Notwithstanding its engrossment with international convergence and fair value reporting, the FASB managed to issue 29 accounting standards updates in 2010 - some with significant impacts in 2011 and beyond, others with less impact. The following is a rundown of the FASB’s major accomplishments for 2010, and a look back at the accounting news for the year 2010.