FAF expands free online access to FASB, GASB standards


The Financial Accounting Foundation, the group that oversees the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, plans to improve free online access to both FASB and GASB accounting standards codifications for the general public, make them easier to use and eliminate the paid professional service.

The systems will provide free, enhanced online access to the  Accounting Standards Codification and the Governmental Accounting Research System to make financial accounting standards more widely accessible to stakeholders and the public. The FAF said it hasn’t yet determined the firm date for this change to online access to the accounting standards, but it’s expected to happen this spring.

Free versions of both the codification and GARS have been available online for years, but the new system promises to offer enhanced features compared to the current free offering (known as “Basic View”). They include improvements in navigation, search, printing, copy and paste, and the ability to offer feedback.

As a result, the “Professional View” paid subscription service will be eliminated and users who previously accessed Professional View can instead use the enhanced free versions of the Codification and GARS. Current Professional View subscribers will transition off the current system, and prorated refunds will be issued for subscribers whose paid terms extend beyond the cutover date.

“We believe this move, which is consistent with a recent recommendation from the Investor Advisory Committee of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, will increase our stakeholders’ access to these important resources, and thereby improve the understanding and implementation of financial accounting standards in the United States,” said FAF executive director John Auchincloss in a statement.

The SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee submitted a set of recommendations last year to the SEC calling for broad changes at FASB to make it more responsive to the needs of investors (see story).

The Accounting Standards Codification is the complete, official version of U.S. GAAP published by FASB and used by public companies, private companies, nonprofit organizations, and employee benefit plans in the U.S. The Governmental Accounting Research System is the complete, official version of U.S. GAAP published by GASB and used by states, cities and other government entities in the U.S.

FASB, GASB and FAF logos on the wall at headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut
FASB, GASB and FAF logos on the wall at headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut

Courtesy of GASB

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