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Accounting & Audit

FAF Widens Access Online to FASB and GASB Standards

FAF hasn’t set a firm date for this change to online access to accounting standards, but it’s expected this spring.

The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) said on Monday it is planning to give investors and other stakeholders greater online access to financial accounting standards for public and private companies, as well as for governments.

The FAF, which oversees both the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), will be providing free, online access to the Accounting Standards Codification and the Governmental Accounting Research System starting sometime this spring.

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

While free versions of both the codification and GARS have been available online for years, the new system will provide enhanced features compared to the current free offering, which is known as “Basic View.” They include enhancements to navigation, search, printing, copy/paste, and the ability to provide feedback.

As a result of this move, 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, according to FAF. Current Professional View subscribers will be transitioned off the current system, and prorated refunds will be issued for those 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,” FAF Executive Director John Auchincloss said in a written statement.

The FAF has not yet set a firm date for this change to online access to the accounting standards, but it is expected to occur this spring.