US insurers attack fair value convergence proposals

US insurers have attacked the latest proposed standard on fair value
accounting, claiming it will make accounts harder to compare and understand.

The Group of North American Insurance Enterprises claimed the US Financial
Accounting Standards Board’s latest attempt to improve disclosures on fair value
measurements needed substantial revision if it was to provide any benefit to
users of financial statements.

Kevin Spataro, chair of GNAIE’s Accounting Convergence Committee, said in the
group’s submission to FASB that if the scope of the proposal was not revised “we
are concerned that the information may not be comparable among companies and
will provide more difficulty for financial statement users to interpret”.

The proposal was intended to align FASB’s disclosures of fair value
measurement with the international standard, but GNAIE believes the standard
setter should first evaluate global implementation practices to determine
whether global conformity exists, according to

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Fiona Westwood of Smith and Williamson.