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US GAAP- Quick Learning module

GAAP World
GAAP Compared
Case Studies

US GAAP represents set of pronouncements like SFAS issued by FASB, APB Opinions issued by Accounting Principles Board (APB) of AICPA, AICPA Accounting Research Bulletins issued by AICPA, FASB Technical Bulletins issued by FASB, statement of Position (SOP) issued by AICPA, Consensus Position of Emerging Issues Task force ( EITF) of FASB , FASB staff Position (FSP) ,  Practice Bulletins of Accounting Standards Executive Committee (AcSEC) of the AICPA etc

Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is the designated Organization in the private sector in US for establishing standards of financial accounting and reporting. These pronouncements of FASB are called Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS). FASB pronouncements are recognised as authoritative by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). While SEC has statutory authority to establish financial accounting and reporting standards for publicly held companies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, it has relied on private sector for this function. GAAP pronouncements have also been made at different stages of evolution by other bodies like Accounting Principle Board (APB), American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Emerging Issues Task force (EITF) of FASB etc.  

The precedence of  various US GAAP is stated below in the hierarchy in the same order

as stated hereunder:  

Hierarchy of US GAAP


FASB Statements and Interpretations ( SFAS) ,  APB Opinions , AICPA Accounting Research Bulletins( ARB)


FASB Technical Bulletins, AICPA Audit and Accounting Guides( if cleared by FASB) ,  AICPA Statements of Position SOP)


AICPA AcSEC Practice Bulletins , FASB EITF Consensus Positions


AICPA Accounting Interpretations, FASB Questions and Answers Guides (Q and A) , Other Industry literature and practices

Interestingly, there is a separate Accounting Standard Board for Government Companies called Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) functioning since 1984 . Its predecessors were the National Committee on Municipal and Governmental Accounting (1934-74) and the National Council on Governmental Accounting (1974-84).


@ Copyright -Sanjoy Banka, FCA,FCS ( Calcutta, India)