Website of the Month: Financial Accounting Standards Board

Article excerpt

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) website (www. fasb.org) provides a wide variety of information about FASB, access to FASB agendas and documents, and links to related organizations. While some FASB publications are only available by purchase, many resources are free.

The FASB website is user-friendly and easy to navigate. The homepage highlights recent news items and FASB activities, projects, webcasts, codification, and exposure documents. Document summaries and highlights are available, along with links to full-text versions of many publications.

The website provides background information on FASB and has access to FASB work products. The "about FASB" section details the organization's mission, structure, processes, related organizations, members, and staff. The section also offers "articles, reports, and presentations," with an index of archived newsletters, articles, status reports, and speeches.

The "advisory groups" section provides information about and contact information for various groups, including the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council and the Investors Technical Advisory Committee. The "foundation" section features news releases and other details about the Financial Accounting Foundation.

FASB Activities end Projects

"Board activities" contains information about FASB meetings, action alerts, summaries of FASB decisions, and current and archived board meeting webcasts and handouts. The action alerts allow users to access a variety of related materials, including press releases, snapshots, webcasts, comment letters, and discussion papers. A useful summary of FASB decisions is housed in the "news center" section, in die news releases archive. A calendar includes links to meeting handouts, minutes, and project updates.

The "board activities" area contains subsections on "international convergence" and "investors." The international convergence page provides a background discussion, with links to die International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) website, the Norwalk Agreement the SEC's proposed road map, and other related documents. "Investors" describes FASB's mission and how standards are developed, as well as investor outreach activities and processes.

"Projects" contains technical plan and project updates, research projects, exposure documents, and comment letters. The project schedules include estimated dates for the publication of project documents, as well as links to summaries of board decisions. Project sections provide background information and summaries, along with links to related documents and contact information for project managers.

"Exposure documents," a subsection of "projects," presents a table of FASB and joint FASB/IASB projects, with links to related documents. Similarly, "effective dates of recent FASB pronouncements" offers a summary table with links to final documents located in die "standards" section. FASB's 'Technical Inquiry Service" is also located in the "projects" section. Users can review frequently asked questions, ask their own questions, or access the AICPA's Accounting and Auditing Hotline.

The "Emerging Issues Task Force" (FJTF) section provides an overview of this body, its operating procedures, its meeting schedule, and a roster of members. …