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Ready, set, codification: effective July 1, 2009, the FASB Accounting Standards Codification[TM] became the single source of authoritative nongovernmental U.S. GAAP.

The Codification doesn't change GAAP. However, it does reorganize GAAP into roughly 90 topics to transform GAAP into an easily accessible, user-friendly online research system. The Codification is designed to reduce the amount of time practitioners spend researching issues, improve compliance to the standards, and provide real-time updates.

From a research standpoint, "we are no doubt going to a better place" stressed Bruce G. Pounder, president of Leveraged Logic and a highly rated OSCPA discussion leader. "Getting to that point, however, is going to be more difficult than FASB ever anticipated."


That is the real question surrounding the Codification. In a poll from Grant Thornton released last spring, only 46% of CFOs were even aware of the Codification. The survey also found that only 19% actually believe that the Codification project will make accounting standards easier to use.

"The lack of awareness is a real phenomenon," Pounder said. "The lack of preparation is equally profound and it's a real concern."

This lack of preparation could be significant for the profession. In his webinar series, Pounder focuses on the CPAs ability to identify and cite authoritative GAAP. Pounder has emphasized that the skill sets many have in "citing GAAP became obsolete on July 1, 2009."

"The organization is based on a topical organization with numeric identifiers that are completely brand new," Pounder said. "Everything completely changed on July 1." Pounder notes that many "will be unable to do their job."

"The big can of worms is the implication of the Codification on internal controls over financial reporting," Pounder said. "The Codification has the potential to introduce many new weaknesses in internal controls over financial reporting."


FASB provides two different views to access the Codification: basic and professional. The basic view is offered at no charge. The annual subscription for the professional view is $850 for a single concurrent use, with quantity discounts for multiple concurrent uses. FASB also expects to provide a four-volume bound edition of the FASB Codification by the end of August.


* Topically organized access to all authoritative nongovernmental U.S. GAAP, including relevant SEC content

* Utility to identify the location of original standards

* Basic print functionality


* All the features included in the basic view

* State-of-the-art text searching

* Go To feature for quickly accessing content at a desired location

* Cross reference feature for identifying the location of original standards with links to identified sections

* Printer-Friendly utility for viewing source references at the paragraph level

* Archive features for accessing any previous version of the


* Joining features for viewing or printing user-selected excerpts

* Glossary term display feature for quickly viewing definitions

* What's New feature for accessing recently issued content

* What Links Here feature for identifying content related to a specific paragraph

* E-mail feature for sending comments to colleagues

* "Personal Annotation" feature for keeping notes about relevant standards

* "Current Location" feature for quickly assessing where you are.


FASB has made many resources available to get invested parties the necessary training and knowledge needed to begin using the Codification. FAQs and tips are available at Enter "codification" in the search bar.

OSCPA is hosting a Webinar series with Pounder on the following dates:

* July 16--Fundamentals of the FASB Accounting Standards Codification

* July 23--Basic Codification Research Skills

* July 30--Intermediate Codification Research Skills

* Aug. 6--Advanced Codification Research Skills

Visit for more information and to see an up-to-date listing of online resources and webinars to help you make the transition.


The IRS wants to license tax preparers to ensure all preparers are ethical, qualified and provide good service. The IRS plans to make regulatory recommendations by the end of the year. Though not impacting CPAs directly, licensing tax preparers who are currently unlicensed could increase their value in the minds of the public and decrease the marketing advantage for CPAs.

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman announced June 4, in congressional testimony before the House Ways and Means Oversight Committee, that the IRS plans to make regulatory recommendations by the end of the year to enhance compliance and ensure tax preparers' adherence to high ethical standards.

The announcement follows numerous petitions over the past several years for a registration program for unlicensed tax return preparers. Representative Xavier Becerra of California also announced plans to reintroduce legislation to regulate unlicensed preparers.

Under current law, the IRS already has authority to regulate tax return preparers through the penalty authority. The Internal Revenue Code permits the IRS to assess penalties for:

* The understatement of a taxpayer's liability

* The failure to furnish a copy or sign the return

* The promotion of abusive tax shelters and gross valuation overstatements

* The aiding and abetting of the understatement of tax liability

* Actions to enjoin certain conduct by preparers or promoters

While the IRS did not offer specifics on what the initiative may entail, it indicated that the discussion process will be open, inclusive and transparent. Shulman also emphasized that the IRS wants to hear from the broadest possible range of stakeholders.

OSCPA will continue to follow developments on this issue. Get the latest updates at or in the OSCPA Weekly.
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Title Annotation:Issue UPDATE
Publication:Catalyst (Dublin, Ohio)
Date:Jul 1, 2009
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