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Accounting Research Guide

This guide features access to U.S. and International accounting standards.

United States Accounting Standards: Governmental Entities

For accounting by government entities such as federal, state, and local government agencies, additional accounting standards beyond those contained in the Accounting Standards Codification may apply. For state and local government entities, additional standards are promulgated by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board ("GASB"). For the federal government, additional standards are promulgated by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board ("FASAB").

I. Governmental Accounting Standards Board ("GASB")

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board or GASB is an independent, private-sector, not-for-profit organization that—through an open and thorough due process—establishes and improves standards of financial accounting and reporting for U.S. state and local governments. Governments and the accounting industry recognize the GASB as the official source of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for state and local governments. (GASB at a Glance).

GASB standards are GAAP for state and local governmental entities only. GASB issues the following types of pronouncements:

  • Concepts Statements (identify objectives and fundamental concepts that form the basis for establishing consistent financial reporting standards)
  • Statements (establish accounting standards)
  • Interpretations (of Statements)
  • Technical Bulletins

GASB standards may be ordered directly from GASB, while some of the the above pronouncements are freely available.

II. Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board ("FASAB")

In October 1990, three officials responsible for federal financial reporting established the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB or 'the Board') as a federal advisory committee. The officials were the Secretary of the Treasury, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the Comptroller General of the United States. They created FASAB to develop accounting standards and principles for the United States Government." (FASAB Facts).

FASAB standards are GAAP for federal governmental entities only. FASAB issues the following types of pronouncements:

  • Statements of Federal Financial Accounting Concepts (provide general guidance to the FASAB as it deliberates on the creation or amendment of Statements of Federal Financial Accounting Standards)
  • Statements of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (contain specific authoritative requirements for financial reporting by federal government agencies)
  • Interpretations (clarify meanings of and provide definitions for reading Statements of Federal Financial Accounting Standards)
  • Technical Bulletins (provide guidance for applying FASAB Statements and Interpretations)
  • Technical Releases (provide guidance for applying accounting standards and on auditing issues)

FASAB standards are available in: