Peeling away financial reporting issues one layer at a time

Sweet Next-to-Nothings from the SEC’s Chief Accountant

I’m not going to beat around the bush here.  James Schnurr’s first major speech as the SEC’s Chief Accountant amounted to 3,000 words of next-to-nothing.  He achieved this prodigious rhetorical feat with a medley [Read More...]

Oil Stocks are Taking a Beating — But in 10-K’s, Not So Much

I have already warned you that if high quality financial statements from oil and gas companies are what you are looking for this year,  you won’t find much of that in 2014 annual [Read More...]

The Double Illusion of Financial Statement Comparability and Auditability: Through the Lens of Falling O&G Prices

My inspirations for this post are the maiden speech of the SEC’s new chief accountant James Schnurr, and the joy of paying only $2.02/gallon at the pump.

As for Mr. Schnurr, I plan to [Read More...]

Research on Accountants’ Salaries

The following message is from Jennifer Stevens, professor in the Department of Accountancy at the University of Notre Dame.

Fellow accountants – we need your help.

How much did an entry-level accountant make in 1960 as [Read More...]

Gross versus Net Presentation: The First of Many Revenue Recognition Debacles to Come?

Pick any class of upper-level accounting students, and give them a few cases of supplier/customer relationships for which “gross versus net presentation” of revenues is an issue, and I’ll wager that the class will come [Read More...]

Accounting Estimates: What Investors Should Want

Last week, the PCAOB convened its Standing Advisory Group to discuss the topic of auditing accounting estimates and fair values.  I was invited to be on a panel providing investors’ perspectives.*

This post mainly consists [Read More...]

Revenue Recognition: A Litmus Test for Convergence with IFRS

Do you remember the Big Four mantra that IFRS adoption in the U.S. was “inevitable”?  Today, thankfully, the operative word is “dead.”  Even former SEC chair, Christopher Cox, whose brainchild was the IFRS adoption [Read More...]

Trying My Best to Save LOCOM for Inventory

In my previous post, I expressed my opposition to the FASB’s proposal for replacing the LOCOM rule for inventory with “lower of cost or net realizable value.”

I stated that the extant U.S. GAAP [Read More...]

The FASB Wants to Dumb Down Inventory Impairment

OK, let’s start with something positive.  The FASB recently issued proposals to simplify two accounting topics, and whaddya know, I am actually in favor of one of them.

The “extraordinary item” income statement category is [Read More...]

Loan Accounting: It’s High Time for the SEC to Step Up to the Plate

“Full convergence with the United States – leading to the creation of one single set of global accounting standards – is no longer an achievable project…   But IFRS moves on – we have [Read More...]

On Golden’s Con, Part III: Fixing the Disclosure Mess

…Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing …

If you have read my blog every now and then, it [Read More...]

On Golden’s Con — and Bain Capital’s Travels to Lilliput

There is so much I would like to write about, yet so little time…

I could write about the latest half measure on the accounting for repurchase agreements (ASU 2014-11)— and that Tom Linsmeier’s [Read More...]

On Golden’s Con: Selling False Hope for Fundamental Changes to Financial Reporting

“FASB is preparing to consider foundational changes that could significantly alter financial reporting in the future as well as standards improvements that will reduce complexity, board Chairman Russell Golden said … in a speech at [Read More...]

The Wild West of “Nonauthoritative” GAAP

Two posts ago, I provided two reasons for the PCAOB* to take the opportunity of its auditor’s report project to look closely at the meaning of, “fairly presented … in accordance with [Read More...]

High Frequency Trading: What Would Cicero Say?

This post is a little different from my posts on accounting issues.  I’m going to weigh in on the high frequency trading (HFT) brouhaha that was ignited by the recent 60 Minutes report [Read More...]