ACC 4100 / ACC 9805 - Access to FASB Accounting Standards Codification & IFRS - Prof. Lilien

About the Codification

On July 1, 2009, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (the FASB), approved the Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) as "the single source of authoritative U.S. accounting and reporting standards, other than guidance issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC)."

The Codification superseded (replaced) all then-existing SEC accounting and reporting standards by reorganizing the existing authoritative literature.

Now, only one level of authoritative U.S. GAAP exists, other than guidance issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). All other literature is non-authoritative.

Short Video Tutorials

The FASB offers tutorials and help on the Codification.

CPA Jeff Sailor

CPA Jeff Sailor has two free tutorials on

Part 1 includes Codification structure and how to use it

Part 2 describes Codification research options

FASB Learning Guide for Codification

Extensive guide, with exercises, is designed for learning more about the Professional View of the Codification.

AICPA Information on Codification

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) offers a PowerPoint slide show about the Codification,  to help users with the organization of the Codification and its contents.

PWC Offers Codification Quick Guide

Guide offered by the accounting firm PWC

Codification Organization

The FASB Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) reorganizes accounting literature.

In addition to General Principles (Topic 105), offering an explanation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

the  Seven financial accounting and reporting categories, which are numbered, are:

  • Presentation (Topics 205 through 280)
  • Assets (Topics 305 through 360)
  • Liabilities  (Topics 405 through 480)
  • Equity (Topic 505)
  • Revenue (Topic 605)
  • Expenses (Topics 705 through 740)
  • Broad transactions (Topics 805 through 860)
  •  Industry Category  (Topics 905 through 944) contains specific industry guidance.


  • Notice to Constituents provides information on the Codification structure, style and history.
  •  Master Glossary provides definitions of terms
  • Other Sources includes accounting standards updates, proposed accounting standards, other exposure documents, Pre-Codification Standards and Maintenance.

More Codification Details--Topics, Subtopics

The seven categories have topics, and the topics have subtopics.

  • If needed, subtopics are divided into sections, which are numbered consistently across all subtopics.
  • Sections provide the actual accounting guidance.

A "SEC Section" is included for topics that are affected by SEC regulations.


The subtopic Capital Leases offers an example of the organization:

Helpful Articles

Toerner, M. C. (2009). A guide to using the Accounting Standards Codification. The CPA Journal, 79(2), 20-25. Toerner is a CPA and an accounting professor.

Ford, C.O. and Thomas, C. William. (2008). Test-driving the Codification, Journal of Accountancy. 206(2), 62+.  The authors are CPAs and accounting professors.

Have Some Questions? Ask a Librarian

This research guide was developed by Associate Professor and Information Services Librarian Rita Ormsby.  She is retiring from the Newman Library where her duties included being the library's liaison to the Stan Ross Department of Accountancy.  She wishes students much success in their studies and in their future careers.

If you need assistance, or have any inquiries, other Baruch librarians, including some with MBAs, are available for email and chat inquiries. Group or individual virtual consultations with a librarian are available while the physical library is closed due to the pandemic.

Be safe and best wishes.