Standards-Setting Process

The FASB accomplishes its mission through a comprehensive and independent process that encourages broad participation, objectively considers all stakeholder views, and is subject to oversight by the Financial Accounting Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

The Rules of Procedure describe the FASB’s operating procedures, including the due process activities that are to be open to public participation or observation to provide transparency into the standards-setting process. In particular, the Rules of Procedure describe:
  • The organization in which the FASB operates
  • The FASB mission, how the mission is accomplished, and related principles that guide the Board’s standards-setting activities
  • The operating procedures of the FASB, including the responsibilities of the Chairman, the composition of the FASB technical staff, the role of advisory groups, the Emerging Issues Task Force, and public forums in our due process
  • Our various forms of communications, including the form and content of Accounting Standards Updates, Exposure Drafts, and Concepts Statements
  • Protocols for meetings of the FASB and voting requirements
  • Rules governing public announcements and the kinds of information made broadly available to the public.
A key principle guiding the Board's work is to issue standards when the expected benefits of a change justify the perceived costs of that change. The FASB has developed a plain-language Cost-Benefit Analysis summary that explains how the consideration of benefits and costs is integrated throughout the FASB’s standards-setting process. It explains how the FASB gathers information about potential costs and benefits of standards, as well as how the cost-benefit analysis differs from an analysis of economic consequences.

A high-level overview of the standards-setting process as established by the Rules of Procedure follows. The nature and extent of the Board's specific research and outreach activities will vary from project to project, depending on the nature and scope of the reporting issues involved.
  1. The Board identifies financial reporting issues based on requests/recommendations from stakeholders or through other means.
  2. The FASB decides whether to add a project to the technical agenda based on a staff-prepared analysis of the issues.
  3. The Board deliberates at one or more public meetings the various reporting issues identified and analyzed by the staff.
  4. The Board issues an Exposure Draft to solicit broad stakeholder input. (In some projects, the Board may issue a Discussion Paper to obtain input in the early stages of a project.)
  5. The Board holds a public roundtable meeting on the Exposure Draft, if necessary.
  6. The staff analyzes comment letters, public roundtable discussion, and all other information obtained through due process activities. The Board redeliberates the proposed provisions, carefully considering the stakeholder input received, at one or more public meetings.
  7. The Board issues an Accounting Standards Update describing amendments to the Accounting Standards Codification.