2009 Financial Reporting Year in Review: Changes in Practices and Rules, and More On the Way


Changes to U.S. GAAP can have major effects on financial reporting in general, and on certain classes of business transactions or requirements – including mergers and acquisitions, and computations of obligations under earnout agreements and of compliance with debt covenants – in particular.

Changes to accounting rules, even when positive overall, can also play havoc with obligations under already-completed transactions. Post-transaction changes in reporting standards can impact the continuing duties of the parties (e.g., under earn-out arrangements), in ways that may prove deleterious to one or the other.

Some of the new pronouncements and other important developments over the past year are addressed below. Topics include variable interest entities, fair value accounting, and international accounting convergence (IFRS, GAAP).

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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