Financial Statement Presentation Changes

From: Billy Leigh
Re: Proposed Changes to Financial Statement Presentation

Dear Members of IASB / FASB,

As I understand it, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) are proposing a joint venture to change the presentation of financial statements. I appreciate the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes.

It is in my humble opinion that the current requirements for financial statement presentation allow for too many alternative ways to present the same events or activities. In addition, the information presented is often too aggregated for financial statement users to gain any real insight into a company’s financial position. Because users of financial statements interpret valuable information from these documents, it is of the utmost importance that both the FASB and IASB ensure that this information is as consistent and detailed as possible. This increase in detail and consistency will better allow users of financial statements to fully understand the relationship between an entity’s financial statements and financial results. (1) It should be expected that changes to an established system would be met with some dismay from both preparers and users of financial statements. The increased time and cost it will take to prepare financial statements, as well as peoples’ reluctance to accept change will make this transition difficult. However, once these changes have gained a firm foothold I believe that both parties will see that the benefits far outweigh the cost.

The first issue with the current standards for financial statement presentation is that they allow for the same events and transactions to be classified in different ways, which decreases consistency and cohesiveness. This difference in classification across financial statements makes it difficult for users to compare statements across the same company, and even more so across companies within an...
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