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The development of expected-loss methods of accounting for credit losses: A review with analysis of comment letters

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>17/09/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Accounting Horizons
Number of pages59
Pages (from-to)1-59
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date17/09/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


After the financial crisis of the late 2000s, concern about delayed credit-loss recognition under the incurred-loss method prompted the FASB and the IASB to develop expected-loss methods. We review the development of these methods, including through comment-letter analysis. Initially, the FASB recommended immediate full recognition of expected losses, including at day one, and the IASB recommended spreading the recognition of initially-expected losses across time. After unsuccessful attempts to converge based on proposals that partly reflected initial recommendations of each board, the boards eventually adopted different methods. We report that U.S. respondents largely opposed the FASB's final method, which required day-one recognition of all expected losses, and that non-U.S. respondents largely supported the IASB's final method, which required day-one recognition of 12-month expected losses. Day-one loss was controversial and impeded convergence. Our comment-letter analysis suggests that a day-one-loss-free more forward-looking incurred-loss method might provide a route to a more converged solution.