FASB to Explore Greater Disclosure of Supply-Chain Financing

Investors are a step closer to gaining greater clarity on companies’ so-called supply-chain finance programs.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board, the private organization that sets accounting standards, voted Wednesday to add to its agenda a project exploring greater disclosure surrounding the arrangements.

Supply-chain finance is essentially a form of short-term borrowing to pay for goods and services. The funding, often provided by banks, pays a company’s suppliers earlier than they would normally be paid, at a slight discount. The company then pays the bank later, allowing the company to hang on to cash longer.

Financial institutions that offer such funding include

Citigroup Inc.,

Greensill Capital and HSBC Holdings PLC. Coca-Cola Co. and

Boeing Co.

and many other blue-chip companies make use of the financing.

The tool has attracted scrutiny from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, ratings firms and market participants, some of whom say it allows companies to portray

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