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The PwC guides provide in-depth accounting and financial reporting guidance for various topics, as outlined in the preface to this guide. The PwC guides summarize the applicable accounting literature, including relevant references to and excerpts from the FASB’s Accounting Standards Codification (the Codification). They also provide our insights and perspectives, interpretative and application guidance, illustrative examples, and discussion on emerging practice issues. The PwC guides supplement the authoritative accounting literature. This appendix provides further information on authoritative U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.
Professional literature
The Codification is the primary source of authoritative U.S. financial accounting and reporting standards (U.S. GAAP) for nongovernmental reporting entities (hereinafter referred to as “reporting entities”). Additionally, guidance issued by the SEC is a source of authoritative guidance for SEC registrants.
Updates and amendments to the Codification arising out of the FASB’s standard-setting processes are communicated through Accounting Standards Updates (ASUs). The Codification is updated concurrent with the release of a new ASU, or shortly thereafter. PwC has developed a FASB Accounting Standards Codification Quick Reference Guide which is available on CFOdirect (www.pwc.com/us/en/cfodirect/). The quick reference guide explains the structure of the Codification, including examples of the citation format, how new authoritative guidance will be released and incorporated into the Codification, and where to locate other PwC information and resources on the Codification. The quick reference guide also includes listings of the Codification’s “Topics” and “Sections” and a list of frequently referenced accounting standards and the corresponding Codification Topics where they now primarily reside.
In the absence of guidance for a transaction or event within a source of authoritative U.S. GAAP (i.e., the Codification and SEC guidance), a reporting entity should first consider accounting principles for similar transactions or events within a source of authoritative U.S. GAAP for that reporting entity and then consider non-authoritative guidance from other sources. Sources of non-authoritative accounting guidance and literature include:
  • FASB Concepts Statements
  • AICPA Issues Papers
  • International Financial Reporting Standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Board
  • Pronouncements of other professional associations or regulatory agencies
  • Technical Information Service Inquiries and Replies included in AICPA Technical Practice Aids
  • PwC’s accounting and financial reporting guides
  • Accounting textbooks, guides, handbooks, and articles
  • Practices that are widely recognized and prevalent either generally or in the industry
While other professional literature can be considered when the Codification does not cover a certain type of transaction or event, we do not expect this to occur frequently in practice.
SEC guidance
The content contained in the SEC sections of the FASB’s Codification is provided for convenience and relates only to SEC registrants. The SEC sections do not contain the entire population of SEC rules, regulations, interpretative releases, and staff guidance. Also, there is typically a lag between when SEC guidance is issued and when it is reflected in the SEC sections of the Codification. Therefore, reference should be made to the actual documents published by the SEC and SEC staff when addressing matters related to public reporting entities.
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