FASB has delayed the official launch of its FASB Accounting Standards Codification until July 1. FASB had expected to approve and make the codification authoritative in April.
Prior to the July launch, FASB expects to address issues raised during a yearlong verification period that began on Jan. 15, 2008. During the verification period, the codification is available for free, and FASB has urged users to provide feedback on the system to confirm that the codification accurately reflects existing U.S. GAAP for nongovernmental entities. Users can still participate in the verification process by providing feedback at http://asc.fasb.org. FASB also provides resources such as tutorials on the site.
When it becomes authoritative this summer, the codification will be the single source of authoritative nongovernmental U.S. GAAP, superseding existing FASB, AICPA, Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF) and related literature. After July 1, only one level of authoritative GAAP will exist. All other literature will be considered nonauthoritative.
“When the codification goes live on July 1, 2009, U.S. GAAP will be completely reconfigured in a way that will vastly improve the ease of researching U.S. GAAP issues, superseding existing authoritative literature—including FASB’s Original Pronouncements,” FASB Chairman Robert Herz said in a press release. “Preparers and auditors of financial statements need to familiarize themselves with the changes so that they are ready for the switch.”
The codification does not change GAAP; instead, it introduces an online research system and a new structure. The codification reorganizes the thousands of U.S. GAAP pronouncements into roughly 90 accounting topics and displays all topics using a consistent structure. Relevant SEC guidance is included and follows the same topical structure in separate sections in the codification. For a detailed discussion of the structure of the codification and Web-based research system, see the December JofA article, “Test-Driving the Codification.”