Less than half the CFOs polled in a recent survey by Grant Thornton were aware of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Accounting Standards Codification project, which is set to become the authoritative source of U.S. GAAP on July 1.

The codification will change U.S. generally accepted accounting principles by removing the current four-level U.S. GAAP hierarchy and replacing it with two levels: authoritative and non-authoritative. After July 1, the codification will supersede all existing pronouncements of FASB, the Emerging Issues Task Force, the American Institute of CPAs and predecessor standards-setters.

“FASB has concluded that the codification is not in itself a change in GAAP,” said John Hepp, a partner in Grant Thornton’s National Professional Standards Group. “However, each reporting entity should review its critical accounting policies in light of the revised and reformatted text.”

Any issues identified in the review that could be interpreted as a change in GAAP that potentially requires transition guidance should be reported to FASB as a comment in response to the exposure draft. The comment deadline is May 8, 2009.

While the codification will be a major change in the U.S. GAAP hierarchy, only 19 percent of the 530 CFOs and senior controllers surveyed by Grant Thornton think that the codification project will make accounting standards easier to use. Only 16 percent of the survey respondents think that the codification should become the sole source of authoritative GAAP this year.

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