A Roadmap to Identifying a Controlling Financial Interest

This publication reflects changes in the consolidation landscape that have taken place since the release of our previous Roadmap on the consolidation of variable interest entities (VIEs), most notably the FASB’s issuance of Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2015-02, Amendments to the Consolidation Analysis, in early 2015.

While ASU 2015-02 is not yet effective for all companies (generally, it is effective in 2016 for public entities and 2017 for private entities, with early adoption permitted), the guidance in this Roadmap is written as if adoption has occurred. Notwithstanding this focus, many of the concepts underlying the identification of a controlling financial interest have remained the same. Accordingly, this Roadmap highlights the significant changes that resulted from the issuance of ASU 2015-02 and describes the purpose and effects of the ASU’s changes.

Further, the Roadmap’s Appendix A and Appendix B compare ASU 2015-02 with the predecessor consolidation models in ASU 2009-17 and FIN 46(R), respectively. In addition, while the Roadmap’s focus is on the complexities of identifying whether a legal entity is a VIE and whether a reporting entity should consolidate a VIE, Appendix D provides a framework and our interpretations of how a reporting entity should apply the voting interest entity model.

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