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Golden Gate University School of Accounting Accounting Research & Communication Research Process: Using Codification & Research Tables Overview of the Research Process This handout provides guidance on research process, which consists of the following five steps all of which should be documented, e.g., by completing a research table: 1. Identify the issue 2. Collect evidence (review Codification* and survey practice) 3. Evaluate results and identify alternatives 4. Develop conclusions 5. Communicate results *Effective July 1, 2009, the FASB Accounting Standards Codification (“FASB Codification”) become the single official source of authoritative, nongovernmental U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Research Tables Throughout the semester, the instructor will assign case studies which will require students to apply the five-step research process outlined above to improve their proficiency in accounting research and communication. Students will use standardized research tables to evidence fulfillment of steps 1 and 2, that is, issue identification and collection of evidence. This handout contains a research table template, recommended work procedures, and an illustrative example. 1
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FASB Accounting Standards Codification™ A Topically-Based Model The FASB Accounting Standards Codification TM (Codification) is the source of authoritative generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) recognized by the FASB to be applied to nongovernmental entities. Accounting and financial reporting practices not included in the Codification are nonauthoritative (refer to 105-10-05-03 for an example listing of sources of nonauthoritative guidance). Topically-based model . In the interest of simplifying user access to all authoritative US GAAP, the FASB sponsored the creation of Codification, a topically-based model (with roughly 90 topics) replacing the standards-based model (with thousands of individual standards). The overall design consists of TOPICS-SUBTOPICS-SECTIONS-SUBSECTIONS-PARAGRAPH GROUPS. Topics . Topics represent a collection of related guidance. For example, Leases is a Topic. Topics are organized under the following five (5) main areas: 1. General Principles (Topic Codes 105-199). These Topics relate to broad conceptual matters, including an overview and background information on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. 2. Presentation (Topic Codes 205-299). These Topics relate only to presentation matters and do not address recognition, measurement, and derecognition matters. Topics include Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Earnings per Share, etc. 3. Financial Statement Accounts (Topic Codes 305-799). The Codification organizes Topics in a financial statement order including Assets, Liabilities, Equity, Revenue, and Expenses. Topics include Receivables, Revenue Recognition, Inventory, etc. 4.
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