Volume 8, No. 9


Fixing Securitization Accounting:  In 1997, Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 125 became effective. That standard attempted to define clearly when a sale of financial assets has taken place and when a seller's responsibility for transferred assets has been relieved. The financial media and the investment community quickly tagged the resulting financial reporting as "gain on sale" accounting, for companies would immediately recognize gains related to transfers of financial assets instead of recognizing such gains over an extended period. In the three years since the new accounting started to show up, the need for numerous improvements became apparent. The Financial Accounting Standards Board has proposed an amendment to SFAS No. 125 which, if passed, will clarify when a sale has occurred in a transfer of financial assets. That will likely make it easier for companies to attain "gain on sale" status when making transfers of financial assets - and will also allow more thorough evaluation of such transactions by analysts and investors.

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