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CUs' 'Unique Nature' Requires Distinct Accounting Treatment, CUNA Tells FASB
WASHINGTON (8/27/13)--The Credit Union National Association said it supports two proposed Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) accounting changes, and reminded the agency that, in both cases, it must understand the unique nature of credit unions, which are member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives, as it continues its work.

FASB should be particularly mindful of areas where "the associated costs outweigh the benefits to the reporting entity and the users of their financial statements," CUNA Senior Assistant General Counsel Luke Martone wrote in a pair of comment letters.

"Financial statement users of a credit union are so very different from those of a bank, including both public and private," he emphasized.

The primary users of credit unions' financial statements are the National Credit Union Administration--the prudential regulator of federally chartered credit unions and insurer of most state and all federally chartered credit unions--and state credit union regulators, Martone noted.

The comment letters were in reference to two separate proposals from FASB's Private Company Council.  Following a review of public comments, the council will consider changes to the proposals before submitting them to FASB for a final decision on endorsement.

One proposal, accounting for Goodwill Subsequent to a Business Combination (PCC Issue No. 13-01B), would permit amortization of goodwill (the residual asset recognized in a business combination after recognizing all other identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed) and a simplified goodwill impairment model. The proposal is intended to address private-company stakeholder concerns raised about the relevance and complexity of U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

Another proposal, Accounting for Identifiable Intangible Assets in a Business Combination (PCC Issue No. 13-01A), would modify the requirement for private companies to separately recognize fewer intangible assets acquired in a business combination.

For more on both comment letters, use the resource links.
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