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Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

The Financial Accounting Standards Board published generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), an uniform set of accounting rules, procedures, and standards (FASB). Financial statements of a public company must be created in compliance with US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) by its accountants.

Ten basic principles serve as the framework for GAAP, which is a set of regulations.Frequently used as a benchmark, the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which are considered as more of a principles-based standard. There have recently been initiatives to move GAAP reporting to IFRS because it is a more global standard.

Understanding GAAP

For the purpose of gathering and disclosing accounting data, GAAP is made up of authoritative standards (issued by policy authorities) and widely accepted practices. The objective of GAAP is to improve the consistency, comprehension, and comparability of financial data.

Contrast pro forma accounting with GAAP, a non-GAAP financial reporting method. The American version of GAAP is known as International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Currently, IFRS are used in 166 jurisdictions.

GAAP helps to regulate the accounting sector in accordance with comprehensive standards and principles. It makes an effort to unify and regulate the terminology, assumptions, and accounting methods used across all business sectors. GAAP covers the concepts of materiality, revenue recognition, and balance sheet category.

GAAP's primary goal is to ensure the consistency, accuracy, and comparability of financial accounts for firms. The financial statements of the company are therefore easier for investors to review and extract useful information from, such as historical trend data. It also makes it simpler to compare financial information between different organizations.

Note: Only a collection of standards makes up GAAP. Despite the fact that these guidelines help to increase the transparency of financial statements, they do not guarantee that a company's financial reports are devoid of mistakes or omissions that are meant to deceive investors. Unscrupulous accountants have plenty of room to manipulate numbers inside GAAP. Therefore, you should carefully review a company's financial statements even if they follow GAAP.

10 Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

  1. Objectivity: Financial information should be based on verifiable and impartial evidence.
  2. Relevance: Financial information should be relevant and useful to decision makers.
  3. Reliability: Financial information should be reliable, meaning it should be free from material error and bias.
  4. Comparability: Financial information should be comparable across companies and over time.
  5. Consistency: Companies should use the same accounting methods from period to period to ensure comparability.
  6. Full disclosure: Financial statements should contain all the information necessary for users to make informed decisions.
  7. Matching: Revenues should be matched with the expenses incurred to generate those revenues.
  8. Cost-benefit constraint: The costs of providing financial information should not exceed its benefits.
  9. Materiality: Information is considered material if it is likely to influence a decision made by a financial statement user.
  10. Conservatism: When in doubt, accountants should choose the accounting method that results in a lower reported profit.


  1. U.S. corporations are required to prepare their financial accounts in accordance with the FASB's set of accounting standards known as GAAP.
  2. The purpose of GAAP is to increase the clarity, consistency, and comparability of financial data.
  3. In comparison to GAAP, pro forma accounting is a non-GAAP financial reporting method.
  4. GAAP's principal goal is to ensure that business financial accounts are accurate, consistent, and comparable.
  5. While most other countries utilize the IFRS standards, GAAP is mostly employed in the United States.
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