The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) established the Emerging Challenges Task Force (EITF) in 1984 to identify, examine, and resolve financial accounting issues with the goal of enhancing financial reporting. The EITF was reestablished by FASB in 2007.
The EITF develops standards or authoritative guidance on accounting for items that do not meet the criteria for recognition as an asset or liability, performing business combinations, resolving uncertainty about the future performance of products, and other topics relevant to accounting for information technology systems. It also may issue opinions on specific issues before it if no standard is available. Anyone can submit issues for consideration by the EITF. All members are appointed by the FASB chairman with approval from the FASB president. Appointments are for a term of three years.
Issues are reviewed at two meetings per year and decisions are made by vote of the full committee. Each member has one vote; no member can veto a decision. If a majority of the members vote "yes," then the issue is approved. If not, then it's rejected.
Membership on the EITC includes individuals experienced in computer science, engineering, mathematics, and other fields related to information technology. Members are selected by the FASB chairman after nominations from the public.
A comprehensive list of all open and resolved EITF problems. The EITF's objective is to assist the FASB in enhancing financial reporting by identifying, discussing, and resolving financial accounting concerns within the framework of the FASB Accounting Standards Codification (r). All current EITF problems are up for discussion. There is no set time limit on how long a problem can remain unresolved.
The FASB invites public comment on issues arising under the Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF) process. Anyone may submit comments online at www.fasb.org/eitf or via fax to (312) 541-4494. Comments will be reviewed by the EITF before they are included in future issues of Emerging Issues Alerts.
Comments should address each issue raised in the relevant EITF report. Comments should be written in plain English and not contain any confidential information. Authors of comments will be notified by email when their comments have been received by the FASB.
Emerging Issues Alerts are published twice annually, in March and September. They provide important information about issues that may affect accountants and other professionals who prepare financial statements for public companies.
According to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), "an entity's management should ensure that adequate disclosure is made regarding any material changes to an issuer's emerging issues task force. This requirement applies only to issuers with greater than $100 million in annual revenue or those expected to have more than $1 billion in annual revenue within three years." The requirement was added to FASB Statement of Financial Position No. 115, which became effective on January 1, 2009.
Management includes the board of directors or its equivalent body. As such, this responsibility falls under the purview of the chief financial officer or other equivalent position at an organization.
Issuers include public companies and private companies that are required by law to prepare their financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. These statements may include annual reports, interim reports, current reports, quarterly reports, and other forms that are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. An "emerging issue" is defined as a newly identified issue that could significantly affect an entity's operations or results of operations. Management should consider whether there has been a significant change in an emerging issue since it last issued an Emerging Issues Task Force statement.
Gather and disseminate intelligence and information regarding challenges and issues related to the organization's mandate and strategic goals. All employees must provide information using problem management templates. Employees should identify potential problems before they become issues by using their judgment and considering all relevant facts and circumstances.
Issues must be resolved promptly to prevent them from becoming problems. Problem managers are required to resolve issues that other employees have identified as problems. They may also be asked to provide advice or make recommendations on how to resolve issues that have not been identified as problems yet. The more senior an employee, the more important it is for him/her to manage issues effectively. Therefore, upper management positions such as chief executive officer (CEO) and president are expected to handle issues well.
Upper management positions are responsible for appointing and removing personnel. Thus, they must understand the organizational culture and select staff members who will be effective in resolving issues within this culture.
Lower level management positions are responsible for executing duties assigned by supervisors. These positions do not have the authority to make decisions on their own; instead, they act on directives received from supervisors. As a result, there may be times when lower level management employees need to wait for higher ups to resolve issues before they can get things done.
A task force or action committee (also known as an ad hoc committee from the Latin for "for this purpose") is a group formed to solve a specific problem or achieve a specific objective. As opposed to other committees which have different purposes, such as planning and policy making or general advisory functions, a task force is formed to make a decision on a particular issue before it. Often, but not always, these are special groups within an organization that are formed to deal with a particular problem or issue.
Task forces are commonly formed of individuals from one organization who are appointed by their mutual colleague to help them work through an issue. The members are expected to provide impartial advice based on facts presented in evidence during formal meetings. They may also be asked to review documents or materials relating to their area of expertise. After providing recommendations, the task force will usually produce a report that is sent back to its originator for approval or rejection. If approved, they will then create a final document that is released to the public.
In the United States, state laws often require that certain actions be taken by agencies to ensure protection of the environment or alleviation of social problems. Task forces can be established to study these issues and make recommendations to agency leaders about possible solutions. These groups are often composed of people from different backgrounds with different opinions about how to fix the problem at hand.