FASB Standard Expected to Make Big Impact

By Stephen Barlas
March 1, 2020

Congress was concerned about the implementation of the Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) standard (Accounting Standards Update 2016-13, Financial Instruments—Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments) issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).


So it included a provision in the fiscal 2020 appropriations bill requiring the U.S. Treasury Department to submit a report to Congress in 2020 on potential negative impacts from CECL.


Rep. Bill Huizenga (R.-Mich.) asked FASB Chairman Russell G. Golden at hearings in the House Financial Services Committee in January 2020 whether he thought the FASB should wait for the results of the study before implementing CECL. Golden said “no” and added that CECL “improves the information to our capital markets.” Rep. Ann Wagner (R.-Mo.) said the new standard could sap $50 billion to $100 billion in loan loss reserves from banks of all sizes.


The new standard is intended to result in greater transparency of expected losses at an earlier date during the life of a loan compared to the current “incurred loss” methodology, which delays recognition until a bank determines a loss is probable. CECL is required to be implemented by public companies that aren’t included as smaller reporting companies in fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019. Other entities are permitted to wait until their first fiscal year beginning after December 15, 2022.


Stephen Barlas has covered Washington, D.C., for trade and professional magazines since 1981 and since 1984 for Strategic Finance and its predecessor Management Accounting. You can reach him at sbarlas@verizon.net.
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