Accounting Standards Pronouncements

Definition

The term Accounting Standards Pronouncements refers to a hierarchy of communications from the Financial Accounting and Standards Board.  Generally, these pronouncements consist of Accounting Standards Updates, Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts, and "other" communications.

Explanation

The Financial Accounting and Standards Board, or FASB, is an independent, non-profit organization which establishes the standards used by companies in the preparation of financial reports.  These standards are commonly referred to as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP, and are used in the preparation of reports such as the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows.

The FASB has authority over the subject, style, and content of these standards and also has the authority with respect to pronouncements and other accounting communications, including:

  • Accounting Standards Update:  includes updates to the Accounting Standards Codifications and other standards issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission.  An update is a document that explains how a standard has been amended.  It may also contain instructions to help the reader better understand both the changes and their effective dates.
  • Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts:  these are not standards, but fundamentals upon which future accounting and reporting standards will be based.  The concepts and Exposure Drafts can include proposed reporting concepts, background information, and the basis for conclusions appearing in the document.
  • Other Communications:  this can include the appointment of task forces, research papers, notifications of public hearings, special reports, discussion documents, and responses to requests.  Discussion Papers may be issued to solicit input prior to the launch of a technical project.

Finally, the FASB can assemble and Emerging Issues Task Force, or EITF, to help in the identification, analysis and resolution of emerging issues affecting financial accounting and reporting.

Related Terms

FASB, GAAP, financial statements, accounting events and transactions