Accounting & Auditing

FAF, FASB, GASB debut their strategic plan

Here's another case of great serendipity: I received an e-mail from Terri Polley, president of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) this week, after having key leaders from GASB and FASB at our Accounting and Auditing Conference. 

Terri has done a lot to raise awareness of and transparency around the FAF, which came out of the efforts with their Blue Ribbon Task Force that ultimately decided to address the issue of private company standards in October 2010. (Here is our work on private company standards.) This strategic plan and her efforts at making the work of the FAF more visible and transparent should be applauded by our profession.

I find it interesting to read this strategic plan right after meeting with GASB Chairman David Vaudt and Billy Atkinson, chairman of the FASB's Private Company Council, as they spoke at our Accounting and Auditing Conference.

David and Billy emphasized how GASB and FASB were actively engaging stakeholders, listening and bringing feedback to their board for discussion. Both talked about the awarenes of "standards overload" and how they were trying to address new standards on a holistic basis. Both were very keen on listening to our MACPA members. I think they are really listening and it's time for all of us to get involved and give them feedback.

Here is a copy of the Financial Accounting Foundation's draft strategic plan, but some of the key elements are as follows:

Our vision is to be a recognized leader in financial accounting and reporting.

The core principle of the plan is that the FAF, the FASB, and the GASB will be best-in-class in their roles, setting accounting standards of the highest quality through a comprehensive process that embodies our commitment to our core values: integrity, objectivity, independence, transparency, inclusiveness, and leadership.

Second, the mission: 

Our mission is to establish and improve financial accounting and reporting standards to provide useful information to investors and other users of financial statements, and to educate stakeholders on how to most effectively understand and implement those standards.

The draft plan also identifies their four top priorities. They are:

  • Practicing and promoting continued excellence in standard setting.
  • Demonstrating a commitment to leadership in standard setting.
  • Building and maintaining trust with stakeholders.
  • Contributing to the public discourse on current and future financial reporting issues.

If you want to weigh in on the strategic plan, FAF is listening. You can send comments to

And kudos to Terri and the FAF trustees for your transparency and strategic thinking!

See my interview with Terri Polley at the XBRL US Conference in 2012.