The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), is a domestic, not-for-profit organization based in Connecticut. For over forty years, the FASB has helped set reporting standards within the accounting trade. You may visit their website by clicking here to read more about the history of the FASB. One of the FASB’s major contributions to the accounting profession is the FASB Codification. Codification content is organized by subject matter in a hierarchy. Think of it as an “outline” structure that you can drill into to get information regarding your specific topic of interest.
The Codification’s hierarchy begins with the following four highest levels:
As you research, you will drill down in the hierarchy, beginning with the Area of interest, then picking the Topic within the area, then the Subtopic, then the Section. Areas, Topics, and Subtopics are simply landing pages that contain tables of contents. Sections are the only pages that have Codification content.
For example, if you wanted to research costing inventory, you would drill down by clicking on the following: Assets > 330 Inventory > 10 Overall > 30 Initial Measurement > General > 30-1 Cost Basis
You would then see the detailed codification specific to costing inventory.
Although there are literally thousands of sections within the hundreds of subtopics, once you practice and get used to moving around in the Codification, it is easy to research your accounting topics. You may find yourself utilizing it not only for class research, but also for topics you are working on in your professional life and topics that you may simply find interesting.
Note: Once you have drilled down to your subtopic, you may find it useful to click on “Combine Subsections”. This will show the different subsections and their content on one page, allowing you to quickly scan and review areas of interest to you.
The Codification is organized within the following 9 Areas:
- General Principles
- Broad Transactions
Within the Industry area, there are 32 industries identified that have specific items unique to them. These industries range from five different areas of Entertainment to Mining, Financial Services, Airlines, Agriculture, Franchisors, Software, Health Care Entities, and many more!
To complete this assignment, you will need to access the FASB Codification at http://aaahq.org/ascLogin.cfm. (Note: A login and password are required to access this site and are available from your professor.)
For Assignment 1, write a 2-to-4-page paper in which you:
- Select one of the industries that interests you, and briefly explain why.
- Identify how many subtopics are in the industry you selected.
- Pick two subtopics within your selected industry that are applicable to a Balance Sheet (something to do with assets, liabilities, or equity)
- Identify your chosen subsections by number and title. Explain what they mean in your own words.
- Based on your review of your chosen industry, identify what you think accountants in the industry might be focused on as an area or areas of concern. The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
- Examine the long-term assets portion of a balance sheet, including property, plant, and equipment and intangible assets.
- Assess GAAP, IFRS, and how to research utilizing the FASB Accounting Standards Codification.
Grading for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic / organization of the paper, and language and writing skills, using the following rubric.