The FASB is conducting tests of its proposed new financial statement presentation Discussion Paper, and they would like accounting faculty members to provide feedback on the new financial statement format and related reconciliation. To participate, click here; note that this is not a trivial commitment:  you will need to analyze financial statements and then make a variety of judgments and forecasts.  On the other hand, there will be substantial benefits not just to the standard setters, but also to you personally–you will get an inside look at the future of financial statements.

Getting academics to participate in research like this is an important part of FASRI.  Read on for the details, as provided by Regenia Cafini (FASB Project Manager).

The new financial statement presentation format, as proposed in the discussion paper,  distinguishes between operating, investing, and financing activities, emphasizes cohesion across statements, and calls for greater detail about the nature and function of financial statement line items. It also includes reconciliation between the income statement and cash flow statement that separately identifies cash flows, accruals, and re-measurements.

Test participants will review financial statements of actual companies presented under the current and new formats and share their impressions of relative informativeness via a set of structured questions. The FASB asks that you commit to review four financial statements containing only minimal essential notes:  two current format and two new format. Participation in the test is expected to require approximately 8 hours of your time during the late-April, early-May 2009 timeframe. Your insights will provide valuable information to the FASB and IASB Staff and Board as they continue to refine their thinking on this important project.

This is a great opportunity to have input into the standard setting process, while gaining valuable insights that will inform your teaching and your research. To register to participate, go to this website:  If you have any questions, please contact Ray Pfeiffer (rjpfeiffer@fasb.org), FASB Research Fellow, and/or Regenia Cafini (rdcafini@fasb.org), FASB Project manager by email or phone at 203 956 5358 or 203 956 5268, respectively.

Thank you in advance for helping the FASB with this important work.

Regenia Cafini, FASB