This Week's Financial Executive Agenda: Cybersecurity, Going Concern and GDP

March will go out like a lion as the SEC and FASB plan to revisit major issues and the final numbers of U.S. GDP come in.

The Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council will hold a meeting entitled the "Boundaries of financial reporting" and "forward-looking trends" on Tuesday, March 25th. That will be followed the next day by a Financial Accounting Standards Board meeting (FASB) that will review a number of topics, including a key discussion on FASB's current exposure draft on going concern assessment and disclosures.

Last year FASB proposed that new rules around management’s responsibilities disclosure of going concern uncertainties. A PwC report issued at that time said that a footnote disclosure would be required under certain circumstances.

Also, FASB will decide whether to approve the decisions reached at the previous Emerging Issues Task Force meeting, including proposals on share-based payments, recognition of new accounting basis pushdowns, accounting for identifiable intangible assets and accounting for goodwill for public business entities and not-for-profits.



Also on Wednesday, March 26th the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will hold its long-planned "Cybersecurity Roundtable" that the regulator announced following a string of online breaches at large retailers following the 2013 holiday shopping season.

Earlier this year several large retailers, including Target and Neiman Marcus revealed major security breaches that compromised millions of debit and credit cards which could expose users to possible fraud. Although the companies did not state estimated losses as a result of the attacks, recent studies place the average per capita cost for a data breach at $136.

When the roundtable was first announced, a Reuters report said that SEC Chair Mary Jo White was considering a more “robust disclosure process” around security breaches. Reports added that Congress was considering similar measures.



Thursday will bring the final U.S. Gross Domestic Product numbers for the fourth quarter of last year. Initial GDP growth estimates for the fourth quarter was revised down sharply last month to an annualized 2.4 percent from the advance estimate of 3.2 percent, according to Bloomberg data.  The consensus among economists polled by Bloomberg is a revision of U.S. GDP growth back up to 2.7 percent.


A report from the Wall Street Journal stated that the anemic growth in the fourth quarter was attributed to bad weather and political upheaval overseas. Growth in the U.S. economy has fallen significantly since a health 2013 third-quarter showing of 4.1 percent.