The IASB and the US FASB are presently involved in a joint project on financial statement presentation. After a discussion paper, published in October 2008, on July 2010 the boards decided to post a staff draft of proposed standard that reflect tentative decisions made to date, as a basis for extended stakeholder outreach activities. The objective of the financial statement presentation project is to establish a global standard that will guide the organisation and presentation of information in the financial statements, but the focus is on reporting comprehensive income. Since the IASB and the FASB accounting model mixes two income determination systems, namely, historical cost accounting and fair value accounting, an interesting question pertains to whether the display of comprehensive income should reflect the existence of these two paradigms. This article scrutinizes the proposed amendments to IAS 1 comprehensive income statement format while it reviews analytic, empirical and experimental research that addresses the presentation of income and the format of the income statement and presents the typical arguments made by proponents of historical cost net income and comprehensive fair value income. The research results are somewhat mixed, but they support the conservative decisions of the boards.
Keywords: Comprehensive income, income statement, performance measure, earnings attributes; historical cost accounting, fair value accounting