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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

FASB Launches Accounting Standards Codification

July 23, 2009

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has launched the "FASB Accounting Standards Codification." The codification is now the single source of authoritative nongovernmental U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The codification is effective for interim and annual periods ending after September 15, 2009 - fiscal 2010 for the vast majority of independent institutions.

The release of the codification is the result of a lengthy FASB project. The launch of the codification means that all other accounting literature not included in the codification is nonauthoritative. The codification represents sweeping change in U.S. accounting standards. With the codification, the days of accounting professionals working from several sources of accounting literature combined with numerous superseded references are gone forever.

While the codification does not change GAAP, it introduces a new structure that is organized in an online research system. The FASB expects that the new system will reduce the amount of time and effort required to research an accounting issue, mitigate the risk of noncompliance with standards through improved usability of the literature, provide accurate information with real-time updates as new standards are released, and assist the FASB with the research efforts required during the standard-setting process.

The codification reorganizes the thousands of U.S. GAAP pronouncements into roughly 90 accounting topics and displays all topics using a consistent structure. The "FASB Accounting Standards Codification" excludes governmental accounting standards. It codified all standards issued by a standard setter within levels A through D of the pre-codification GAAP hierarchy, with non-SEC content listed below:

Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)

  • Statements (FAS)
  • Interpretations (FIN)
  • Technical Bulletins (FTB)
  • Staff Positions (FSP)
  • Staff Implementation Guides (Q&A)

Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF)

  • Abstracts
  • Appendix D Topics

Derivative Implementation Group (DIG) Issues

Accounting Principles Board (APB) Opinions

Accounting Research Bulletins (ARB)

Accounting Interpretations (AIN)

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)

  • Statements of Position (SOP)
  • Audit and Accounting Guides (AAG)-only incremental accounting guidance
  • Practice Bulletins (PB)
  • Technical Inquiry Service (TIS)-only for Software Revenue Recognition.

Visit the FASB Web site for more details about the availability of the codification, including subscription information and a planned print edition.


Sue Menditto
Director, Accounting Policy