Goodbye FAS, Hello ASU
By Theresa Hickman on Jan 15, 2010
Have you heard of the latest acronym, ASU? For those of you who attended Arizona State University or Arkansas State University, I'm not referring to your alma mater.
ASU stands for Accounting Standards Updates. Simply put, they specify the provisions to the FASB Codification. In other words, they are the successors to FAS (FASB Statements), SOPs (Statements of Opinions), etc. Any updates to the codification are now managed by ASUs.
On July 1, 2009, FASB issued its last FAS, FAS 168, when it launched its new Standards Codification. The codification is "the single source of authoritative U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) recognized by FASB to be applied by nongovernmental agencies," according to their web site www.fasb.org . It supersedes any existing accounting standards documents. FASB had the IASB and IFRS in mind as they worked on the Codification to prepare U.S. companies for the eventual convergence to IFRS.
So you Accountants out there who are still walking around reciting "FAS 52" when referring to the accounting for foreign exchange exposure or "FAS 133" when referring to the accounting for derivatives will need to retrain yourselves. ASUs change the validity of the original text. Only bits of FAS 52 (or whatever) that live on in the codification will be valid. You could say, "According to paragraph 830-30-45-2..." (Good luck with that one; I can't even remember phone numbers). But inside the U.S., the SEC prefers we use plain language, such as "translation at the current rate...."
Check it out at asc.fasb.org . I especially like the Cross Reference tool that allows me to search by Standard or Codification to help me find the portion of the Codification that contains a Standard or to identify the Standards that make up a portion of the Codification.