FASB Accounting Standards CodificationTM
Last Updated: July 1, 2009
On July 1, 2009 the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) released the authoritative version of the FASB Accounting Standards CodificationTM (Codification) as the single source of authoritative nongovernmental U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
On June 30, 2009 the FASB released FASB Statement No. 168, The FASB Accounting Standards CodificationTM and the Hierarchy of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, that created Codification Topic 105, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and established that the Codification is effective for interim and annual periods ending after September 15, 2009. All existing accounting standard documents are superseded. All other accounting literature not included in the Codification will be considered nonauthoritative.
Starting in January 2008, the FASB made the Codification available for free for an extended verification period, during which time users were urged to provide feedback on the new system to confirm that the Codification accurately reflects existing U.S. GAAP for nongovernmental entities. In December 2008, the FASB publicly announced July 1, 2009, as the date on which the Codification was expected to go live.
The Codification reorganizes the thousands of U.S. GAAP pronouncements into roughly 90 accounting topics and displays all topics using a consistent structure. It also includes relevant Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) guidance that follows the same topical structure in separate sections in the Codification.
To prepare constituents for the change, the FASB has provided a number of tools and training resources (available at http://www.fasb.org on the right side of the home page titled Codification Resources) including:
- An online tutorial available on the Codification website at http://asc.fasb.org
- A Notice to Constituents that includes a significant amount of background information at http://asc.fasb.org
- A Codification Question and Answer (Q&A) document
- Various webcasts, including two FASB webcasts on June 22, 2009 and March 13, 2008 that are available at http://www.fasb.org under the Board Activities > Webcast Series tabs
- “Countdown to Codification Alerts,” a series of weekly e-mails featuring tips to help ease the transition to the new research system
- Numerous presentations.
While the Codification does not change GAAP, it introduces a new structure—one that is organized in an easily accessible, user-friendly online research system. The FASB expects that the new structure and new system will:
- Reduce the amount of time and effort required to solve an accounting research issue.
- Improve usability of the literature thereby mitigating the risk of noncompliance with standards.
- Provide real-time updates as new standards are released.
- Assist the FASB with the research and convergence efforts required during the standard-setting process.
- Become the authoritative source of literature for the completed XBRL taxonomy.
The FASB will retain the electronic feedback feature in the Codification Research System to allow users the ability to submit ongoing feedback, questions, or concerns.
The Codification includes all accounting standards issued by a standard-setter within levels A through D of the current U.S. GAAP hierarchy, including FASB, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF), and related literature.
The home page of the Codification Research System includes various items users should review,, including a Notice to Constituents that describes Codification-related matters.
The Codification Research System also includes general information about how to use the online research system and special features such as Cross Reference Reports (to locate where standards reside), Join Sections (to join similar Sections from multiple Topics and Subtopics into a single document), and Go To (to jump directly to a specific Topic, Subtopic, Section, or paragraph).
The Accounting Standards Codification excludes governmental accounting standards.