1. Summary
  2. Compliance with GAAP
  3. Selecting GAAP Principles
  4. GAAP vs. IFRS


GAAP could be a set of procedures and tips employed by corporations to arrange their monetary statements and alternative accounting disclosures. The standards are ready by the Monetary Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which is a freelance non-profit organization. GAAP standards aim to assist make sure that the monetary data provided to investors and regulators is correct, reliable, and in step with each other.

Compliance with GAAP

If a corporation’s stock is publicly listed, its monetary statements should adhere to rules established by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC needs that publically listed corporations within the U.S. often file GAAP-compliant monetary statements to stay publically listed on the stock exchanges. GAAP compliance is ensured through an appropriate auditor’s opinion, ensuing from an external audit by a certified public accounting (CPA) firm.

Although it’s not needed for non-publicly listed corporations, GAAP is viewed favorably by lenders and creditors. Most monetary establishments would require annual GAAP-compliant monetary statements as a neighborhood of their debt covenants when issuing business loans. As a result, most corporations within us do follow GAAP.

If a budget isn’t ready for victimization GAAP, investors ought to use caution. while not GAAP, comparison of monetary statements of various corporations would be very tough, even at intervals of constant trade, creating apples-to-apples comparison arduous. Some corporations could report each GAAP and non-GAAP measures once coverage their monetary results. GAAP laws need that non-GAAP measures be known in monetary statements and alternative public disclosures, like press releases.

Selecting GAAP Principles

The hierarchy of GAAP is designed to enhance monetary coverage. It consists of a framework for choosing the principles that public accountants ought to use in getting ready monetary statements in line with U.S. GAAP. The hierarchy is weakened as follows:

  • Statements by the Monetary Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and Accounting analysis Bulletins and Accounting Principles Board opinions by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • FASB Technical Bulletins and AICPA trade Audit and Accounting Guides and Statements of Position
  • AICPA Accounting Standards government Committee follow Bulletins, positions of the FASB rising problems Task Force (EITF), and topics mentioned in Appendix D of EITF Abstracts
  • FASB implementation guides, AICPA Accounting Interpretations, AICPA trade Audit, and Accounting Guides, Statements of Position not cleared by the FASB, and accounting practices that are widely accepted and followed

Accountants are directed to 1st consult sources at the highest of the hierarchy so proceed to lower levels as long as there’s no relevant declaration at the next level. The FASB’s Statement of economic Accounting Standards No. 162 provides a close rationalization of the hierarchy.


GAAP is targeted at the accounting and monetary coverage of U.S. companies. The monetary Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the freelance non-profit-making organization, is liable for establishing these accounting and monetary coverage standards.5 The international various to GAAP is the International monetary coverage Standards (IFRS), set by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).

The IASB and also the FASB are performing on the convergence of IFRS and GAAP since 2002.7 Due to the progress achieved during this partnership, the SEC, in 2007, removed the need for non-U.S. corporations registered in America to reconcile their monetary reports with GAAP if their accounts already complied with IFRS.8 This was an enormous accomplishment as a result of the ruling, non-U.S. corporations’ mercantilism on U.S. exchanges had to produce GAAP-compliant monetary statements.

Some variations that also exist between each accounting rule include:

  • LIFO Inventory: While GAAP permits corporations to use the Last In 1st Out (LIFO) as a listing value methodology, it’s prohibited underneath IFRS.
  • Research and Development Costs: These prices are to be charged to expense as they’re incurred underneath GAAP. Under IFRS, the prices will be capitalized and amortized over multiple periods if sure conditions are met.
  • Reversing Write-Downs: GAAP specifies that the number of the write-down of a listing or mounted plus cannot be reversed if the value of the plus later will increase. The depreciation will be reversed underneath IFRS.

As firms more and more have to be compelled to navigate international markets and conduct operations worldwide, international standards have become more and more widespread at the expense of GAAP, even within the U.S. the majority of S&P five hundred corporations report a minimum of one non-GAAP life of earnings as of 2019.