ACADEMICS IN STANDARD SETTING

ACADEMICS: HELP US IMPROVE FINANCIAL REPORTING

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Academic research helps the FASB assess the significance and pervasiveness of a perceived problem in GAAP and to identify and assess potential feasible solutions. The Board uses academic research in a variety of ways, including:
  • Pre-agenda research
  • Comment letters
  • Stakeholder outreach activities
  • Post-implementation review
Educating students on FASB standards leads to better-trained future accountants.

ARCHIVE: “ACCOUNTING FOR AN EVER-CHANGING WORLD” CONFERENCE 2022

The “Accounting for an Ever-Changing World,” a joint conference of the FASB, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), and The Accounting Review (TAR)—a publication of the American Accounting Association (AAA)—took place November 2─4, 2022 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. The conference fostered dialogue between the academic community and accounting practitioners to share insights to issues that are important to the field of accounting.

The conference featured a robust roster of speakers, including Paul Munter, Acting Chief Accountant of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, FASB Chair Richard R. Jones, and IASB Chair Andreas Barckow.

KEYNOTE SESSIONS

The conference opened with a fireside chat featuring FASB Chair Rich Jones and IASB Chair Andreas Barckow and moderated by Mary E. Barth, Joan E. Horngren Professor of Accounting, Emerita, Stanford Graduate School of Business. During the panel, the chairs discussed the importance of academic research and how it helps their respective Boards when developing standards that provide useful financial information to investors and other allocators of capital.

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On day two of the conference, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Acting Chief Accountant Paul Munter addressed the conference on “Adapting to a Rapidly Evolving World: Implications for Standard Setting and Regulation.” His remarks included an overview of the role of the SEC and the Office of the Chief Accountant in protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly, efficient markets, and facilitating capital formation.

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CONFERENCE PROGRAM

Many thanks to all the academics who participated in and shared their research as part of the “Accounting for an Ever-Changing World" conference. We also thank the SEC Office of the Chief Accountant, our colleagues with the IASB, and the staff of the AAA and The Accounting Review for making the conference a success.

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EMERGING SCHOLAR AWARD

The FASB invites nominations for the FASB Emerging Scholar Award.

This award recognizes the proposed doctoral thesis topic judged to be the highest quality in terms of its potential for a rigorous contribution to an issue of interest to accounting standard setting.

In addition to being recognized as the winner of the FASB Emerging Scholar Award, the winning nominee will receive a monetary award from the FASB of $2,500.

Nominations for the current year have closed. The 2022-2023 Award Winner will be announced shortly. Please check this page for updates and to nominate a student for the 2023-2024 award in the fall.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Nominees must have been admitted to candidacy for a PhD degree in accounting
  • Nominees may not be on the job market before July of the year the award is granted
  • Candidates must be nominated by the Chair of their dissertation committee (multiple nominations from a chair will be accepted)
Instructions Congratulations Derek Christensen—University of Wisconsin PhD student and winner of the 2021-2022 FASB Emerging Scholar Award!

RESOURCES FOR RESEARCH AND TEACHING

The FASB recognizes and appreciates the academic community’s critical role in accounting education. You can participate in many supportive activities by:
  • Organizing a student visit to the FASB offices in Norwalk, CT. If you would like more information about a student visit, please contact us at adminsupport@f-a-f.org.
  • Requesting a FASB speaker through a FASB Speaker Request Portal that guides you, step by step, through the process of requesting FASB speakers—including criteria for the acceptance of FASB speaking invitations.
  • Reading FASB In Focus summaries of new and proposed Accounting Standards Updates.
  • Participating in free educational webcasts and webinars on a periodic basis.
  • Watching webcasts of public meetings and reading meeting documents and minutes.
  • Accessing the FASB Accounting Standards Codification® Basic View without creating an account. (PLEASE NOTE: In January 2023, the Financial Accounting Foundation announced plans to make free, enhanced online access to the Codification available to all stakeholders, including academics and students, later this year. More details about this transition will be announced in the coming months.)
  • Taking advantage of XBRL resources for academics
You can use FASB materials for teaching purposes by:
  • Utilizing our library of videos and podcasts in a classroom setting
  • Gaining access to the FASB Accounting Standards Codification® Professional View for yourself and students through our partnership with the American Accounting Association. (PLEASE NOTE: In January 2023, the Financial Accounting Foundation announced plans to make free, enhanced online access to the Codification available to all stakeholders, including academics and students, later this year. More details about this transition will be announced in the coming months.)
You can stay updated on the FASB’s activities or receive advanced notice on upcoming public meetings and webcasts by subscribing to eNewsletters such as:
  • Action Alert, which provides real-time updates of FASB activities by topic.
If you are interested in engaging your students in the comment letter process, we encourage you to read this paper by the Academic Board Member, Christine Botosan, which includes best practices to follow to help increase the effectiveness of classroom comment letters.

LEARN ABOUT RELEVANT RESEARCH TOPICS

Topic 842, Leases

Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers

Topic 326, Financial Instruments–Credit Losses

XBRL FOR ACADEMICS

Learn more on how to use XBRL data in academic research:
 
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Elizabeth Blankespoor from the University of Washington provides an overview of how to use XBRL data in academic research.
Courtesy: AAA 2021 Financial Accounting and Reporting Section Virtual Midyear Meeting.

Learn more about Academics Use of XBRL Data.

LEARN ABOUT USING XBRL DATA FOR RESEARCH

XBRL & Academics: A Workshop on How to Pull XBRL Data

SHARE YOUR RESEARCH WITH THE FASB

The FASB welcomes submissions of academic research for consideration during the standard-setting process.
 
Visit our Academic Paper Submission Portal to share your research with the FASB. While here, you will be prompted to upload your paper and answer a few questions about your research.
 
To ensure timely processing of your research paper, please craft your responses to a standard-setting audience (as opposed to an academic audience). Your submission will be directed to the relevant project team, who may request a meeting to discuss your findings.
   
FASB members and staff discuss the role academics play in the standard-setting process.
 
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OTHER AVENUES FOR ACADEMIC PARTICIPATION

  • The Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council (FASAC), the FASB’s primary advisory group formed in 1973, comprises investors, preparers, auditors, academics, and other users of financial reporting.  Learn about other FASB advisory groups and academic members here.
  • The Academic Resource Group (ARG), which was formed in 2014, comprises academics who meet periodically to provide input to the FASB on various issues.
  • Ongoing partnerships with the American Accounting Association:
    • The Financial Reporting Policy Committee (FRPC) of the Financial Accounting and Reporting section of the American Accounting Association
    • Access to the FASB Accounting Standards Codification® Professional View for academics and students (PLEASE NOTE: In January 2023, the Financial Accounting Foundation announced plans to make free, enhanced online access to the Codification available to all stakeholders, including academics and students, later this year. More details about this transition will be announced in the coming months.)
  • The Financial Reporting Issues Conference (FRIC), which is an invitation-only annual conference attended by academics. The materials from FRIC 2023 can be accessed here.
  • FASB’s Academic Summer Program, which is an annual program for PhD candidates and young faculty. In order to ensure that your school receives an invitation to nominate a participant (usually sent out in February), email academics@fasb.org.
  • Submit comments on FASB Invitations to Comment, Discussion Papers, Exposure Drafts, and other proposals by emailing director@fasb.org. Comment letter submissions become part of the public record. To learn more about our active projects, access our project information.

THE FASB POST-DOCTORAL FELLOW PROGRAM

The Post-Doctoral Fellow Program brings academic research and skills to bear in the accounting standard-setting process, with the potential to undertake research activities in other areas. The fellow is a highly motivated PhD graduate (current or within the past two years) that serves one year on the FASB staff. The fellow obtains experience as an ad hoc consultant on FASB projects and receives other career-enhancing benefits, including:
  • Opportunities to conduct research and publish findings
  • Access to XBRL data and training
  • Exposure to cutting edge issues—benefiting students, enhancing research relevance
  • Opportunities to develop deep institutional knowledge and a portfolio of relevant research questions, and
  • Opportunities to network with preparers, practitioners, regulators, users, and other academics at the highest levels, and earn external professional recognition.
The FASB benefits from the academic research and skills that the fellow brings to understanding accounting issues, including identifying relevant research and integrating results into staff analyses used as a basis for Board decision making.

The tenure clock is expected to be suspended/delayed during the one-year period of the fellowship. Compensation is competitive with 9-month assistant professor starting salary; payable directly to the candidate (if the candidate is a FASB employee) or alternatively to the university (if the candidate is a university employee).
 
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The FASB’s Post-Doctoral Fellowship program brings academic research and skills.

Previous FASB Academic Fellow
  • Kurt Gee
  • Michael Durney
  • Shannon Garavaglia
  • Tanya Paul
  • Cassie Mongold

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

The Conceptual Framework is critical to FASB’s standard-setting process by providing the Board with theoretical guidance in selecting transactions, events, and circumstances to be accounted for.

For academics, the Conceptual Framework provides a frame of reference for understanding the resulting standards—a useful point of reference for students who study accounting and faculty who research and teach it.

The Conceptual Framework is not complete. For example, it currently lacks measurement and presentation principles. Consequently, the FASB has an active project to refresh and complete it. Given the fundamental role the framework plays in accounting standard setting, input from members of the academic community is essential in this process. See the related project pages for more information.

FASB Special Report: The Framework of Financial Accounting and Standards

This book focuses on the Conceptual Framework developed by the FASB to provide a foundation for financial accounting and reporting standards in the United States.

To help readers understand what the Conceptual Framework is and why it developed as it did, the book also explores the environment in which the principles and standards of financial reporting developed; the forces that shaped them; and how the concepts, principles, and standards relate to each other.

Download the Special Report

More information regarding the Conceptual Framework project and opportunities to engage can be found here.
 
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FASB Member Christine A. Botosan and FASB staff discuss the conceptual framework:
what it is, how the Board uses it, what’s coming next, and how you can get involved.
 
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