Academics in Standard Setting

Academics: Help Us Improve Financial Reporting

Academic research helps the FASB assess the significance and pervasiveness of a perceived problem in GAAP and to identify and assess potential feasible solutions. The Board uses academic research in a variety of ways, including:
  • Pre-agenda research
  • Comment letters
  • Stakeholder outreach activities
  • Post-implementation review
Academic work in educating students on FASB standards leads to better-trained future accountants and more consistent application of standards.
 

2022 Academic Conference: Accounting for an Ever-Changing World

The FASB, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), and The Accounting Review (TAR) have issued a joint call for academic research papers on how key standards are performing in the capital markets. Selected papers will be presented at a joint conference titled “Accounting for an Ever-Changing World,” scheduled for November 2─4, 2022, in New York City, and will be considered for publication in The Accounting Review (a publication of the American Accounting Association (AAA).

The initiative is intended to strengthen connections between the academic and standard-setting communities and encourage academic research that supports the FASB and the IASB in their post-implementation review of recent major standards.

More information is available on the conference website.

The deadline to submit papers is May 15, 2022; early submission is encouraged.

Learn about Relevant Research Topics

Topic 842, Leases

Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers

Topic 326, Financial Instruments–Credit Losses

LEARN ABOUT USING XBRL DATA FOR RESEARCH

XBRL data may be of particular interest to academics interested in submitting papers to the “Accounting for an Ever-Changing World” conference as it allows real-time access to the most recent corporate filings.

XBRL & Academics: A Workshop on How to Pull XBRL Data

  • View FASB Webinar
  • Download Slides
  • XBRL Data Output
  • Web Resources

Emerging Scholar Award

The FASB’s Emerging Scholar Award recognizes a proposed doctoral thesis topic judged to be the highest quality in terms of its potential for a rigorous contribution to an issue of interest to accounting standard setting.

In addition to being recognized as the winner of the 2021 FASB Emerging Scholar Award, the winning nominee will receive a monetary award from the FASB of $2,500.

The nomination portal will remain open until November 1, 2021 and the winning candidate will be announced in December. Download instructions and nominate a candidate below.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Nominees must have been admitted to candidacy for a PhD degree in accounting
  • Nominees may not be on the job market before July 1, 2022
  • Candidates must be nominated by a member of their dissertation committee (faculty advisor). Multiple nominations will be accepted.
Instructions  

Share Your Research with the FASB

The FASB welcomes submissions of academic research for consideration during the standard-setting process.
 
Visit our Academic Paper Submission Portal to share your research with the FASB. While here, you will be prompted to upload your paper and answer a few questions about your research.
 
To ensure timely processing of your research paper, please craft your responses to a standard-setting audience (as opposed to an academic audience). Your submission will be directed to the relevant project team, who may request a meeting to discuss your findings.
 
 
FASB members and staff discuss the role academics play in the standard-setting process.
 

XBRL for Academics

Learn more on how to use XBRL data in academic research:
 
Elizabeth Blankespoor from the University of Washington provides an overview of how to use XBRL data in academic research.
Courtesy: AAA 2021 Financial Accounting and Reporting Section Virtual Midyear Meeting.

Learn more about Academics Use of XBRL Data.
 

Other Avenues for Academic Participation

  • The Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council (FASAC), the FASB’s primary advisory group formed in 1973, comprises investors, preparers, auditors, academics, and other users of financial reporting.  Learn about other FASB advisory groups and academic members here.
  • The Academic Resource Group (ARG), which was formed in 2014, comprises academics who meet periodically to provide input to the FASB on various issues.
  • Ongoing partnerships with the American Accounting Association:
  • The Financial Reporting Issues Conference (FRIC), which is an invitation-only annual conference attended by academics. The materials from FRIC 2020 can be accessed here.
  • FASB’s Academic Summer Program, which is an annual program for PhD candidates and young faculty. In order to ensure that your school receives an invitation to nominate a participant (usually sent out in February), email academics@fasb.org.
  • Submit comments on FASB Invitations to Comment, Discussion Papers, Exposure Drafts, and other proposals by emailing director@fasb.org. Comment letter submissions become part of the public record. To learn more about our active projects, access our project information.

Now Accepting Applications for FASB Post-Doctoral Fellow Program

The FASB Post-Doctoral Fellow Program currently seeks applicants for a one-year fellowship (beginning in June 2022) that offers the right candidate valuable, career-enhancing experience in bringing academic research and skills to the accounting standard-setting process.  Interested candidates should apply at this link. The deadline to apply is November 19, 2021. Finalists will be invited to interview with several Board members and staff in early 2022 (the current plan is for all interviews to be conducted virtually).

The Post-Doctoral Fellow Program brings academic research and skills to bear in the accounting standard-setting process, with the potential to undertake research activities in other areas. The fellow is a highly motivated PhD graduate (current or within the past two years) that serves one year on the FASB staff. The fellow obtains experience as an ad hoc consultant on FASB projects and receives other career-enhancing benefits, including:
  • Opportunities to conduct research and publish findings
  • Access to XBRL data and training
  • Exposure to cutting edge issues—benefiting students, enhancing research relevance
  • Opportunities to develop deep institutional knowledge and a portfolio of relevant research questions, and
  • Opportunities to network with preparers, practitioners, regulators, users, and other academics at the highest levels, and earn external professional recognition.
The FASB benefits from the academic research and skills that the fellow brings to understanding accounting issues, including identifying relevant research and integrating results into staff analyses used as a basis for Board decision making.

The tenure clock is expected to be suspended/delayed during the one-year period of the fellowship. Compensation is competitive with 9-month assistant professor starting salary; payable directly to the candidate (if the candidate is a FASB employee) or alternatively to the university (if the candidate is a university employee).
 
The FASB’s Post-Doctoral Fellowship program brings academic research and skills.

If you are interested in applying, please click the button below when the application process is open and select “Post-Doctoral Fellow.” The application process usually opens in September and closes in November. If you would like more information, contact academics@fasb.org.
 

Conceptual Framework

The Conceptual Framework is critical to FASB’s standard-setting process by providing the Board with theoretical guidance in selecting transactions, events, and circumstances to be accounted for.

For academics, the Conceptual Framework provides a frame of reference for understanding the resulting standards—a useful point of reference for students who study accounting and faculty who research and teach it.

The Conceptual Framework is not complete. For example, it currently lacks measurement and presentation principles. Consequently, the FASB has an active project to refresh and complete it. Given the fundamental role the framework plays in accounting standard setting, input from members of the academic community is essential in this process. See the related project pages for more information.

FASB Special Report: The Framework of Financial Accounting and Standards

This book focuses on the Conceptual Framework developed by the FASB to provide a foundation for financial accounting and reporting standards in the United States.

To help readers understand what the Conceptual Framework is and why it developed as it did, the book also explores the environment in which the principles and standards of financial reporting developed; the forces that shaped them; and how the concepts, principles, and standards relate to each other.

Download the Special Report

More information regarding the Conceptual Framework project and opportunities to engage can be found here.
 

FASB Member Christine A. Botosan and FASB staff discuss the conceptual framework:
what it is, how the Board uses it, what’s coming next, and how you can get involved.

 

Resources for Accounting Educators

The FASB recognizes and appreciates the academic community’s critical role in accounting education. You can participate in many supportive activities by: You can use FASB materials for teaching purposes by: You can stay updated on the FASB’s activities or receive advanced notice on upcoming public meetings and webcasts by subscribing to eNewsletters such as:
  •  Action Alert, which provides real-time updates of FASB activities by topic
  • Quarterly FASB Outlook newsletter, which presents current accounting and financial reporting issues in a “plain-English,” user-friendly format.