What is GAAP?
Differences Between U.S. GAAP and i
Levels of Accounting Information
Accountants Provide Unbiased
Information for Decision Making
Rules of Accounting
The Accounting Cycle
Test Your Knowledge
This week some of the information we cover will be a review of your first financial accounting course. Much of
the information, however, especially in the accounting standards area, will be new. In addition, this week and
throughout the term, we will be covering the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), or i-GAAP,
which may standardize financial reporting throughout the world in several years.
GAAP stands for Generally Accepted Accounting Standards.
The GAAP rules found in the United States are often referred to as U.S.GAAP. Quickly emerging as an
international standard are the IFRS. During the course, when we refer to “GAAP” we will be discussing U.S.
GAAP, unless otherwise noted. We will be looking at both sets of standards during the course and how they
will impact financial statement presentation.
For U.S. GAAP purposes, the standards that govern accounting are set by the Security Exchange
Commission (SEC) for public companies. The standards that are required by the SEC require public
companies to file a variety of forms with the SEC, the most important being the annual reporting Form 10-K.
This report, as well as other public documents, can be obtained using the EDGAR system at
On the SEC website, there are a variety of topics, such as investor information, regulatory actions, staff
interpretations of accounting rules, and a variety of other related topics. Important information, such as the
regulatory responsibilities of the SEC, is spelled out on this website.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) sets the accounting rules primarily for the private sector.
The FASB’s website is
. You will be extensively studying the accounting rules passed by
this organization throughout Intermediate Accounting and other financial accounting courses. The FASB
“Statements,” as they are known, are being phased out since accounting literature will be codified by
category. We’ll discuss research during the term in our threaded discussions, readings, and discussions.
U.S. GAAP - Lecture
What is GAAP?
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