Diversity in practice led the FASB to revisit the GAAP guidance for the Statement of Cash Flows that has been around since 1987 with the issuance FASB No. 95. Many people thought aspects of these rules were confusing (and contradictory, at times), or even missing entirely. In fact, restatements of public company financial statements often relate to issues with the Statement of Cash Flows (as noted in an earlier post).
Originally planned as a comprehensive project, the FASB altered course to focus efforts on just the most confusing areas, resulting in new guidance covering nine specific issues. The good news is that most of these issues rarely apply to nonpublic tech companies in the Silicon Valley. Eight issues are covered in ASU No. 2016-15 “Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments” issued in August 2016. Several of the issues that might be encountered include handling proceeds from insurance claims, distributions from equity method investees, and contingent consideration payments made after a business combination. Mid-sized companies outside of specific industries would rarely run into the remaining issues. (more…)