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AcSB Decision Summary – July 15, 2020

This summary of Accounting Standards Board (AcSB) decisions has been prepared for information purposes only. Decisions reported are tentative and reflect only the current status of discussion on projects, which may change after further deliberations by the Board. Decisions to publish Handbook material are final only after a formal ballot process.

The AcSB will respond to change and reprioritize when necessary, ensuring we can address implementation challenges and provide the information users may need in these unique circumstances.

The AcSB values input and feedback from stakeholders and can be reached anytime through our online form.

Standards for Not-for-Profit Organizations 


The AcSB deliberated stakeholder feedback on its Exposure Draft, “Combinations – Initial Measurements and Related Disclosures.” The Board re-affirmed that each combination needs to be evaluated with criteria to determine if the combination should be accounted for as a merger or acquisition.  In addition, the Board tentatively decided to: 

  • provide clarity to distinguish a combination of not-for-profit organizations (NFPOs) from the acquisition of assets; 
  • direct NFPOs to the guidance for measuring liabilities when a for-profit enterprise is contributed to an NFPO;
  • revise its criterion that a reduction in client communities of only one of the combining organizations indicates an acquisition; and
  • revise the illustrative examples in the standard to better demonstrate the criteria distinguishing a merger from an acquisition.   

The AcSB will seek the advice of its Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee at its July 2020 meeting and continue deliberations in September 2020.

Standards for Pension Plans 

The AcSB was provided with updates on the current environment as it relates to pension plan financial reporting, on staff research relating to users of pension plan financial reporting, and on outreach to better understand the regulatory environment.

The Board decided to include discussions of the current environment in its pension outreach activities with stakeholders, specifically users and regulators. In addition, the Board decided to update its COVID-19 Resource page to include a discussion of going concern financial reporting and discount rates specific to pension plans.

The AcSB also agreed to establish a working group to assist the Board in better understanding user needs and in developing a project proposal to address stakeholder concerns with Section 4600, Pension Plans.  Working group members should represent one of the following pension sector categories:

  • Union representatives
  • Plan members
  • Plan administrators and/or sponsors
  • Plan trustees
  • Accountants with pension experience
  • Auditors with pension experience
  • Pension actuaries
  • Pension lawyers
  • Insurance company representatives

 An invitation soliciting interest will be posted online in Q3 2020.