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Reflections on the development of the FASB’s and IASB’s expected-loss methods of accounting for credit losses

Noor Hashim, Weijia Li and John O'Hanlon

Accounting and Business Research, 2019, vol. 49, issue 6, 682-725

Abstract: After the financial and banking crisis of the late 2000s, the FASB and the IASB aimed to develop methods of accounting for credit losses that would give more timely recognition of those losses. The IASB (in 2009) and the FASB (in 2010) each initially issued its own exposure draft proposing separate approaches to achieving this. They then attempted to agree a converged expected-loss-based method for accounting for credit losses, but failed to achieve convergence. They then each issued an accounting standard that included its own expected-loss method, with effective dates of 2018 for the IASB and 2020/21 for the FASB. This paper provides an overview of the development of proposals and standards in relation to accounting for credit losses issued by the standard setters from 2009 to 2016. It then offers reflections on difficulties that the standard setters faced in this area and on problems that might arise after the new standards become effective. It raises the question of whether a route based on ‘expected loss’, which in relation to credit losses is a concept that originally became prominent for the purpose of setting banks’ capital requirements, was helpful to the process of improving the accounting for credit losses.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/00014788.2018.1526665

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