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Accounting: U.S. standards

Use this guide to find information on financial accounting.

FASB Codification

As of July 1, 2009, all authoritative nongovernmental U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (US GAAP) have been compiled into a single system by the Financial Accounting Standards Board.  The new system, called Accounting Standards Codification (or just Codification for short), is arranged by topic.  This brings together in one place all statements and regulations on a single topic, whether they were issued by the FASB, the Accounting Principles Board, or the AICPA.  A description of the Codification, its content and arrangement, is found in the document "FASB Accounting Standards Codification: Notice to Contituents (v 3.0) About the Codification," available from the FASB at their website.

Read the FASB's "Notice to Constituents" about the Codification.

To search the Codifcation, go to the Accounting Research Manager database.  If you know the section you need, use the "FASB Goto" box in the left column.  To look for a subject, click on the "Topics" link in the left column.  For more information on searching Accounting Research Manager, use the "Searching Accounting Research Manager" tab in this guide.

Go to Accounting Research Manager now.

Citations to the Codification will start with the letters ASC (for Accounting Standards Codification), followed by four numbers separated by hyphens.  These represent the topic, subtopic, section, and paragraph numbers.  Here is an example:

ASC 330-10-50-2
ASC 330 = Inventory (topic)
ASC 330-10 = Overall (subtopic)
ASC 330-10-50 = Disclosure (section)
ASC 330-10-50-2 = Paragraph 50-2 in the Disclosure section

Convergence of GAAP and IFRS

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is responsible for the U.S. GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles), while the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issues the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).  Over the years, there has been discussion of moving GAAP closer to IFRS with the eventual goal of having a single set of standards.  There does not currently appear to be any indication that this is going to happen.  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is also involved in the discussion.

See "Key Developments in IFRS in the US" at the PWC website.  (Scroll down to view.)

View PWC's "IFRS and US GAAP: Similarities and Differences."

View other information from PWC on the US GAAP convergence.

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