The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is a private, not-for-profit organization whose primary purpose is to develop generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) within the United States in the public's interest. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) designated the FASB as the organization responsible for setting accounting standards for public companies in the U.S. It was created in 1973, replacing the Accounting Principles Board and the Committee on Accounting Procedure of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The FASB's mission is "to establish and improve standards of financial accounting and reporting for the guidance and education of the public, including issuers, auditors, and users of financial information."
The FASB is part of a structure that is independent of all other business and professional organizations. Before the present structure was created, financial accounting and reporting standards were established first by the Committee on Accounting Procedure of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (1936–1959) and then by the Accounting Principles Board, also a part of the AICPA (1959–73). Pronouncements of those predecessor bodies remain in force unless amended or superseded by the FASB.
The FASB is subject to oversight by the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), which selects the members of the FASB and GASB and funds both organizations. The Board of Trustees of the FAF, in turn, is selected in part by a group of organizations including:)
The FASB is in the middle of a convergence project with the International Accounting Standards Board to make it easier for companies to report financial statements on an international level, so that separate financial statements are not needed for U.S. and international markets. As part of the convergence project, the FASB has started transitioning from the principle of historical cost to fair value.
In order to establish accounting principles, the FASB issues pronouncements publicly, each addressing general or specific accounting issues. These pronouncements are: