Accounting: the Financial Accounting Standards Board (Fasb)

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Intermediate Accounting Paper
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is a private, not-for-profit organization whose primary purpose is to develop generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) within the United States in the public's interest. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) designated the FASB as the organization responsible for setting accounting standards for public companies in the U.S. It was created in 1973, replacing the Accounting Principles Board and the Committee on Accounting Procedure of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The Financial Accounting Standards Board's mission is "to establish and improve standards of financial accounting and reporting for the guidance and education of the public, including issuers, auditors, and users of financial information." The Financial Accounting Standards Board is not a governmental body. The SEC has statutory authority to establish financial accounting and reporting standards for publicly held companies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Throughout its history, however, the Commission's policy has been to rely on the private sector for this function to the extent that the private sector demonstrates ability to fulfill the responsibility in the public interest. The FASB is part of a structure that is independent of all other business and professional organizations. Before the present structure was created, financial accounting and reporting standards were established first by the Committee on Accounting Procedure of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and then by the Accounting Principles Board, also a part of the AICPA. Pronouncements of those predecessor bodies remain in force unless amended or superseded by the FASB. With over 330,525 CPA members (in August 2006), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the largest professional organization of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in the United...
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