As we approach year-end another issue to plan well in advance is whether or not you should ask OCA to pre-clear any extremely complex or subjective accounting decisions. This is a well-established process and when you are faced with a complex transaction, extremely subjective accounting determinations or an area where GAAP is not clearly established it makes sense to pre-clear the issue and avoid the possibility of restatement, amendment, or getting hung up in the CorpFin comment process. This is especially true when we know we will all be reviewed at least once every three years.
OCA’s process for consultation is outlined here. The process does need a significant amount of preparation and usually requires a few weeks to complete, sometimes more, so advance planning is important. The document link above has a very detailed list of what needs to be included in your correspondence with OCA and what to expect from the process.
Since this is a consultation with the Office of the Chief Accountant, the answer you get will be definitive and cannot be over-ridden in the review process.
There is also a telephone consultation service you can use to consult with the CorpFin Chief Accountants office, a different process of course, but sometimes a good starting point. You can find out about this less formal process here.
Lastly, here is a recent list of frequent OCA consultation areas you can use to access whether your issues would benefit from this process:
Revenue Recognition, gross vs net etc.
Business combinations, who is the acquirer, business vs assets, contingent consideration
Financial assets, impairments valuation
Segments and aggregation
Long lived assets, e.g. goodwill impairment
Debt vs equity
As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome!