The newly formed Private Company Council was established to address acceptable variations in financial standards for small businesses compared to the customary practices described in CPA prep courses that universally apply to publicly owned companies. The PCC is a body for delivering only recommendations and the first issue it intends to tackle is the standard known as, “Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes.” This subject is one of many that have created some concern among private companies.
Modification of US generally accepted accounting principles for private organizations has received considerable attention. Many private corporations want or need to comply with GAAP. However, these stringent financial standards learned in CPA exam courses are principally designed for complex public companies.
Other accounting matters under consideration by the PCC include fair value determinations, variable interest entity consolidation, and issues related to business combinations as well as derivatives. Small private corporations usually encounter simplified versions of these elements. For example, they may use basic interest rate swaps for converting floating rate debt into fixed rate or have elementary intangible assets that arise from acquisitions.
Due to the fact that private companies have fewer complexities, they face unnecessary costs for compliance with the strict GAAP audit rules that accountants utilize following study for CPA licensing. Distinctive standards for private companies will permit them to remain GAAP compliant without incurring harmful expense.
Accounting at private companies is typically a less elaborate exercise than at public enterprises. However, the growth of global commerce has driven many private companies to engage in some of the sophisticated financial arrangements described in CPA study materials. This creates a debate about the suitability of differential standards for private companies. Hence, a framework is under development for deciding when modifications to GAAP for private companies are warranted.
Meetings of the PCC are expected at least five times per year to identify, deliberate, and vote on proposals. The council will submit recommended GAAP exceptions for private companies to the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Officials at the FASB appointed the council members and are responsible for establishing the framework for recommendations.
Proposed GAAP modifications for private companies are subject to FASB approval. In addition, the FASB may submit comments to the PCC about amending recommendations to qualify for FASB endorsement. Hence, FASB ratification of PCC proposals is expected. As a result, new private company financial standards are anticipated to appear in future courses for CPA study undertaken by exam candidates and as continuing education for existing CPAs.
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