Leslie Seidman

Leslie Seidman Wants Everyone to Know That GE’s Financials Are A-OK

Remember Leslie Seidman, the former chairman of the FASB? Well, she is now, among other things, a member of General Electric’s board of directors and chairman of its audit committee. She made an appearance on CNBC on Aug. 15 to comment on the report from Madoff whistleblower and forensic accountant Harry Markopolos that accuses GE […]

FASB Still Applying Duct Tape to Repurchase Accounting

Apparently Accounting Standards Update No. 2011-03 didn't quite hold things together as well as people would have hoped: FASB's newest proposal is meant to address more recent concerns that current accounting requirements do not yet appropriately reflect a entity's obligations and risks resulting from repurchase agreements, said FASB Chairman Leslie Seidman in a prepared statement. […]

FASB Chair Vows to Finish Term Cooperating, Condorsing, Enverging, Whatever

The last ten years haven't gone exactly the way the bookworms at the FASB wanted. The Norwalk Agreement, signed in 2002, was supposed to be the first step in resolving the differences between international financial reporting standards and Almighty U.S. GAAP. Alas, despite a lot of agreeing, disagreeing, and agreeing to disagree we've ended up […]

(UPDATE) Who Wants to Be the Next FASB Chair?

~ Update includes quotes from Financial Accounting Foundation spokesperson. FEI (via BNA Bloomberg which requires a subscription) reports that the search is on for a successor to Leslie Seidman as the head of the FASB. The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), which oversees the FASB, has launched a search for a successor chair to current FASB […]

Happy Birthday, Leslie Seidman!

A little bird told me that today is FASB Chair Leslie Seidman's 50th birthday. Our source says that she happened to mention it last night during her keynote address at the annual dinner for the American Women's Society of CPAs' New York City chapter. Fifty is a big one so we here at Going Concern would like […]

As If the FASB Wasn’t Boring Enough, They Will Now Be Debating Semantics

Turns out, everyone is befuddled by the definition of "nonpublic entity": The Financial Accounting Standards Board has added a new project to its agenda to re-examine the definition of a “nonpublic entity,” as part of its efforts to reach out more to private company constituents. […] The decision by FASB chair Leslie F. Seidman to add […]

IASB, FASB Trying to Get Everyone in the Ballpark on Revenue Recognition

The aim is for companies across the world to recognise revenue consistently as part of wider efforts to forge a single set of global acccounting rules to help investors. The core principle that a company must recognise income from contracts when it transfers the goods or services to the customer remains unchanged. But the proposal has been simplified in parts and contains more guidance after several sectors like construction and telecoms raised concerns. “Our proposals will give analysts and investors the confidence that revenue is being presented on a consistent basis, across industries and continents,” IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst said in a statement. “We plan to conduct additional outreach with interested parties during the comment period to help people understand the proposed guidance and to listen to any remaining concerns,” said FASB Chairman Leslie Seidman. [Reuters]

Surprising Absolutely No One, FASB Pushing Back Their Convergence Timeline

Floored. Just floored.

Financial Accounting Standards Board chair Leslie Seidman said that many of the priority projects slated for convergence with the International Accounting Standards Board probably will not be settled until next year at the earliest.

Les will have all you haters know that this adjusted timeline has been well received by those that are taking this shit seriously:

This is a real process with real outreach and real consideration of the issues that have been raised. And the fact of the matter is that it takes time to work through these issues. The changes which we have made to the timetable, which we have made jointly with the IASB, have been very well received among the constituents who take this process seriously. They are very supportive of our strong commitment to making sure that we end up with improved standards here that are going to stand the test of time.

So if you were expecting Fisher Price accounting rules, you can forget it. These beautiful babes will be used to line up the debits and credits when Spacely Sprockets finally breaks ground.

FASB’s Convergence Timeline Moves to Next Year [AT via Jim Peterson]

FASB and IASB Hand-Holding Agenda Nears Completion, Or So We Hear

We’re sure all of you have been anxious for an update since the last FASB/IASB progress report last November, wait no longer.

Here’s what we’re proud of having accomplished since:

Completed five projects: In the next few weeks the IASB will issue new standards on consolidated financial statements (including disclosure of interests in other entities), joint arrangements and post-employment benefits and both boards will issue new requirements in relation to fair value measurement and the presentation of other comprehensive income.

Given priority to the three remaining Memorandum of Understanding projects, as well as insurance accounting: The Boards have made substantial progress towards completion of the three remaining MoU projects covering financial instruments accounting, leasing and revenue recognition, as well as their joint project to improve and align US and international insurance accounting standards.

Provided for further time to finalise their convergence work: The boards have agreed to extend the timetable for the remaining priority convergence projects beyond June 2011 to permit further work and consultation with stakeholders in a manner consistent with an open and inclusive due process. The convergence projects are targeted for completion in then second half of 2011 (however, the U.S. insurance standard, which has not yet been exposed, is targeted for the first half of 2012).

Wait a second, did they really say that putting off more convergence work is an accomplishment? That’s our kind of work right there. IASB Chair Sir David Tweedie and FASB Chair Leslie Seidman didn’t let that little detail deter them from patting themselves on the back for a job well done. Said Sir David, “the convergence programme continues to raise the standard of financial reporting worldwide, delivering much-needed improvements in key areas and providing a solid platform for global high quality standards.” What is that even supposed to mean? Sounds like the same pro-convergence gibberish we’ve been hearing all along.

Someone come get us when this actually means something.

Leslie Seidman Is No Longer Acting Chairman of the FASB

She’s officially the boss for reals.

From the FAF:

The Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) today named Leslie F. Seidman chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), effective immediately. Ms. Seidman has served as the acting FASB chairman since the retirement of Robert H. Herz on September 30, 2010.

“Our Board of Trustees is thrilled that Leslie Seidman has agreed to accept the position as Chairman of the FASB. She brings both unparalleled standard-setting experience and outstanding leadership skills to her new role,” said FAF Chairman John J. Brennan. “As the FASB continues its efforts to address the many significant accounting and financial reporting issues both here in the U.S. and globally, Leslie’s depth of experience with international and domestic financial reporting issues will enhance our progress toward meeting the needs of all of our varied constituents. On behalf of the FAF Trustees, we are delighted that she will be leading the FASB’s efforts to tackle these many challenges for the betterment of capital markets participants both here and abroad.”

How does Les feel about being the new punching bag of the anti-IFRS contingent, House Financial Services Committee, the American Bankers Association and countless letters and emails of ridicule? Pretty good, actch:

“I am honored to be leading the FASB at such a pivotal time in our history,” said Ms. Seidman. “The FASB remains committed to developing standards that will provide investors and other capital providers with decision-useful information. We are at a crucial point in our convergence program, and my fellow Board members and I are working in close partnership with the IASB to improve the comparability of financial information around the world. We want our standards to enhance communication and confidence in financial reports, and we will continue to seek new ways to keep our stakeholders informed and engaged in the standard-setting process.”

It’s just accounting rules after all, how bad could it be?

If You Never Write Another FASB Comment Letter In Your Life…

… please answer this with your best explanation of your position. I’ll go on record saying I am expecting comment letters stuffed with expletives, paranoia, panic and conjecture and personally can’t wait to read some of them.

“Quirky” representatives of the Profession, you know who you are. I want long rambling anti-IFRS manifestos dammit, don’t disappoint me.

Your mission:

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB or Board) is issuing this Discussion Paper to solicit information from stakeholders about the time and effort that will be involved in adapting to several anticipated new accounting and reporting standards and when those standards should become effective. The FASB will use that information to develop an implementation plan for those new standards that helps stakeholders manage the pace and cost of change. The FASB requests comments on this Discussion Paper by January 31, 2011.

The question FASB would like answered is “how the fuck are we going to pay for this convergence thing?” and they’re asking the profession to come up with solutions. I imagine some pockets of the profession couldn’t care less how much it will cost as they are only thinking about learning the new rules because, well, someone’s got to do it, right?

Don’t misunderstand it, they would also like to know if they should transition all at once or gradually, if effective dates should be different for various entities and just how many billable hours might be lost to figuring all of this out. So basically they need you guys to get on this ASAP because they’ve had several years to do it and are still lost.

The request is simple:

“Our joint workplan supporting the Memorandum of Understanding with the IASB identifies targeted completion dates for various projects, but does not address when the standards would be effective,” notes Acting FASB Chairman Leslie F. Seidman. “We issued this Discussion Paper to gather the information we need to create a realistic, cost-effective plan for transitioning to the new standards.”

In other words: can you guys ballpark the timeframe and how we’re going to pay for it? I’d rather see the profession spend its quality billable time writing comment letters on its opinion of the transition and/or FASB’s handling of it. I think you fringe accountants know what to do, so I thank you in advance.

Russell Golden to Fill Bob Herz’s Seat on FASB; Chairmanship Next?

Directly from the mouths of babes in Norwalk:

The Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) today announced the appointment of Russell G. Golden to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), effective October 1, 2010. Mr. Golden will fill the board member vacancy on the FASB resulting from the retirement of Robert H. Herz on September 30, 2010. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Golden served as technical director of the FASB.


Whether or not this is a pit stop for Russ on the way to the Chairmanship remains to be seen. Leslie Seidman is taking the “acting” role on October 1st and as the PCAOB has shown, that can last for awhile.

Mr. Golden’s initial term on the FASB will extend to June 30, 2012, the expiration date of the term left vacant by Mr. Herz’s retirement. As technical director of the FASB, Mr. Golden held primary responsibility for overseeing FASB staff work on all standards-setting projects, including major global and domestic projects and technical application and implementation of financial accounting and reporting standards. He also served as chair of the FASB’s Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF).

“We are delighted to appoint Russ to the FASB,” said FAF Chairman John Brennan. “The FASB will be served well by his depth of technical knowledge in accounting, intimate familiarity with the projects on the board’s technical agenda, and his proven track record for reaching out to constituents and evaluating all available input when approaching financial reporting issues, solutions and improvements.”

Mr. Golden assumed his role as technical director of the FASB in June of 2008, and before that served in various roles at the FASB as a member of the senior staff. Previous to his tenure at the FASB, Mr. Golden was a partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP in the National Office Accounting Services department. Mr. Golden earned his Bachelor’s degree from Washington State University. He is a licensed CPA in the states of Washington and Connecticut.

As announced by the FAF Trustees on August 24, 2010, the FASB will return to a seven-member structure. The Board of Trustees is engaged in processes to recruit and evaluate candidates for the two additional seats and to evaluate candidates for appointment as FASB Chairman. FASB member Leslie F. Seidman will assume the role of Acting Chairman as of October 1, 2010, as previously announced. More details about the search process are discussed in a Q&A with Mr. Brennan.

While Mr. Golden was expected to be appointed to the board, rumors are that he won’t be the next Chairman of the FASB. Some people are saying that it is most likely that Leslie Seidman will get the “acting” dropped from her title or it will be one of the two new members that have yet to be appointed.

Financial Accounting Foundation Appoints Russell G. Golden to the Financial Accounting Standards Board [Business Wire]

Stephen Chipman’s Toast to Bob Herz

“Bob Herz led the FASB during the most challenging time in its history,” said Grant Thornton LLP CEO Stephen Chipman. “He has been a tireless leader with an unwavering focus on the users of financial statements and we are grateful for his service to the profession and wish him well in his retirement. We also extend our congratulations to Leslie Seidman as she takes up the mantle as acting chairman and stand ready to help her and the FASB establish accounting standards that are right for the marketplace and for the dynamic organizations [Ed. note: they’re part of the new strategy, as you may recall] we serve.”


Trite statement as it may be, at least SC said something (we’re looking straight at you Veihmeyer, Moritz, Salzberg, Howe).

Grant Thornton LLP CEO statement regarding Bob Herz retirement [GT]