This chapter has presented an overview of the bodies that set standards in accounting, the process of standard setting, the types of authoritative pronouncements, and the Financial Accounting Standards Codification System. Because U.S. GAAP is a fluid set of principles based on current accounting thought and practice, and not a static, well-defined set of accounting principles, accountants must research updates to the Codification or changes in the pronouncements. Accounting research is challenging. The Codification has consolidated U.S. GAAP down to two levels, but there are still many sources. One needs to use the Codification to find relevant authorities. Thus one must understand how the databases are structured, their contents, and search techniques. One sometimes needs to research SEC accounting rules and regulations for publicly traded companies and use other databases and websites to acquire those authorities. Practice developing research and analytical skills to meet the standards of the accounting profession and the public's expectations.
1. Paul B. W. Miller and Jack Robertson, “A Guide to SEC Regulations and Publications: Mastering the Maze,” Research in Accounting Regulation 3 (July–August 1989): 239–249.
2. Auditing Standards Board AU Section 411.
4. FASB, Statement of Financial Accounting Concept No. 8, “Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting” (2010).