Ruling Requires Recording Of Derivatives Starting In '99

In the U.S., consumers' need for investment information outweighs companies' concerns about difficulties in calculating the numbers. As a result, for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 1999, companies will have to account for derivatives, complex financial instruments often tied to securities or commodities and used as a risk-management tool, says the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Its ruling, issued June 1 after months of controversy, requires companies to record derivatives on the balance sheet as assets or liabilities, measured at fair value. Gains or losses resulting from changes in the values of the derivatives are to be accounted for depending on the use of the derivative and whether it qualifies for hedge accounting, explains Edmund L. Jenkins, FASB chairman. Copies of FASB Statement No. 133, Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities, are available for $11.50 each by calling 800-748-0659.

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