SYNOPSIS: The Canadian Accounting Standards Board (hereafter, AcSB) recently issued an exposure draft to adopt separate GAAP for private enterprises. This new GAAP is justified as being consistent with the current FASB/IASB conceptual framework, but is sensitive to the different cost-benefit considerations facing private entities. We view this proposal as being innovative and responsive to the differential reporting needs of private entities. In this article we explain our reasoning and conclusions on several issues raised by the exposure draft starting with a discussion about the need for a separate conceptual framework for private enterprises. We sketch a preliminary conceptual framework that could be used to develop and justify the type of changes proposed in this exposure draft. We then discuss key issues raised in the exposure draft such as reliance on historical cost as the key basis of measurement, the significant reduction in disclosure requirements for private enterprises, and stopping the emerging issues committee from providing implementation guidance (no EICs). We also comment on the mechanism for financing the standard-setting board, the need to ensure compatibility between accounting and auditing standards, and a process for adjusting the education system to support this new private enterprise GAAP.

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