FASB Issues Corrections and Improvements to Financial Instruments

The FASB issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2018-03, Technical Corrections and Improvements to Financial Instruments—Overall (Subtopic 825-10): Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities, that clarifies the guidance in ASU No. 2016-01, Financial Instruments—Overall (Subtopic 825-10), as follows:

  • Issue 1: Equity Securities without a Readily Determinable Fair Value— Discontinuation – The amendment clarifies that an entity measuring an equity security using the measurement alternative may change its measurement approach to a fair value method in accordance with Topic 820, Fair Value Measurement, through an irrevocable election that would apply to that security and all identical or similar investments of the same issuer. Once an entity makes this election, the entity should measure all future purchases of identical or similar investments of the same issuer using a fair value method in accordance with Topic 820.
  • Issue 2: Equity Securities without a Readily Determinable Fair Value— Adjustments – The amendment clarifies that the adjustments made under the measurement alternative are intended to reflect the fair value of the security as of the date that the observable transaction for a similar security took place.
  • Issue 3: Forward Contracts and Purchased Options – The amendment clarifies that remeasuring the entire value of forward contracts and purchased options is required when observable transactions occur on the underlying equity securities.
  • Issue 4: Presentation Requirements for Certain Fair Value Option Liabilities – The amendment clarifies that when the fair value option is elected for a financial liability, the guidance in paragraph 825-10- 45-5 should be applied, regardless of whether the fair value option was elected under either Subtopic 815-15, Derivatives and Hedging— Embedded Derivatives, or 825-10, Financial Instruments— Overall.
  • Issue 5: Fair Value Option Liabilities Denominated in a Foreign Currency – The amendments clarify that for financial liabilities for which the fair value option is elected, the amount of change in fair value that relates to the instrument-specific credit risk should first be measured in the currency of denomination when presented separately from the total change in fair value of the financial liability. Then, both components of the change in the fair value of the liability should be remeasured into the functional currency of the reporting entity using end-of-period spot rates.
  • Issue 6: Transition Guidance for Equity Securities without a Readily Determinable Fair Value – The amendment clarifies that the prospective transition approach for equity securities without a readily determinable fair value in the amendments in ASU No. 2016-01 is meant only for instances in which the measurement alternative is applied. An insurance entity subject to the guidance in Topic 944, Financial Services— Insurance, should apply a prospective transition method when applying the amendments related to equity securities without readily determinable fair values. An insurance entity should apply the selected prospective transition method consistently to the entity’s entire population of equity securities for which the measurement alternative is elected.

For public business entities, ASU 2018-03 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, and interim periods within those fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2018. Public business entities with fiscal years beginning between December 15, 2017, and June 15, 2018, are not required to adopt ASU 2018-03 until the interim period beginning after June 15, 2018, and public business entities with fiscal years beginning between June 15, 2018, and December 15, 2018, are not required to adopt these amendments before adopting the amendments in ASU 2016-01. For all other entities, the effective date is the same as the effective date in ASU 2016-01.

All entities may early adopt ASU 2018-03 for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those fiscal years, as long as they have adopted ASU 2016-01.

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