According to industry sources, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ruled this morning that it will issue a revised Financial Interpretation No. 46, dubbed FIN 46-R, by the end of December.
The board met to discuss implementation dates for FIN 46, acknowledging that different enterprises would have different concerns; for example, firms that adopted the new rules by the pre-deferred implementation date would have a different set of challenges than those who have opted to hold off on implementation until first quarter 2004. FASB ruled that, under most conditions, public companies will have to implement FIN 46 for the financial period ending after Dec. 15.
"There was open acknowledgment that the SEC strongly urged FASB that FIN 46-R be effective this year-end for public companies, with the exception of small business issuers," wrote industry accountant Marty Rosenblatt of Deloitte & Touche, in an email circulated earlier today. "Public companies who are not small business issuers must apply the provisions of either FIN 46 or FIN 46-R, at their choice, to all variable interest entities of the type that would have been considered to be 'SPEs' under EITF D-14, 96-12, etc... If the company elects to apply FIN 46, rather than FIN 46-R, there would have to be a true-up at the end of the first quarter of 2004."
Companies that have already implemented FIN 46, and have to make changes in adherence to FIN 46-R, will be encouraged but not required to restate previous statements.