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How user friendly do you find the new U.S. GAAP codification?

I still go back to the original U.S. GAAP standards all the time as I find the FASB codification confusing. How user friendly do you find the new U.S. GAAP codification? Do share your experiences.


Andrea Wear
Title: Director of Financial Reportin
Company: Station Casinos, Inc.
(Director of Financial Reportin, Station Casinos, Inc.) |

This is a great question. Having used the pre-codification standards for over 20 years, I'm finding it challenging to use the new codification. I frequently go back to the old GAAP to do my research, and the research tools that I use (EY Online and Accounting Research Manager) facilitate using both the old standard and new codification by providing cross-references. I do think the codification's goal of pulling together all the guidance on a particular topic (excluding SEC) is a good idea, but it will take some getting used to. I'd be interested in hearing others comments on this topic. I'd also like to hear from practitioners on how they are referring to the new codification in their SEC filings. In the past, many of us have made frequent reference to FAS's, SOP's, etc in our disclosures. Are you replacing this with reference to the ASC #'s or are you changing to a more general statement, such as "We evaluate our long-lived assets for impairment in accordance with the accounting guidance for impairment or disposal of long-lived assets"?

- Andrea Wear

Topic Expert
Sunil Thukral
Title: Controller/Technical Accounting Advisory..
Company: Consultant
(Controller/Technical Accounting Advisory/ SEC Reporting, Consultant) |


I use all the old FAS standards all the time and then use the FASB cross-reference tool to determine the new codification number. I personally find the old FASB statements an easy read as I have used them for such a long period of time.

However, due to the codification, in all the internal position papers that I am preparing, I make reference to the codification and within brackets make reference to the old FAS standard. For example, making reference to the long-lived impairments, I would make reference as follows:

Accounting Standards Codification 360, Property, Plant and Equipment (formerly, FAS 144, Accounting for the Impairment and Disposal of Long-Lived Assets (FAS 144)) (ASC 360). Then within the memo, I only make use of ASC 360, with no reference to the old standard.

I personally believe that it is a good practice to incorporate the accounting guidance # within the documents, as it also provides some comfort to the auditors for quick review and sign-offs.

In the externally reported financial statements I refrain from making any reference to the actual accounting standards, except in the new accounting pronouncements not yet adopted section of the financials.

Do let me know if any additional thoughts that you might have on the above.



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