The GAAP codification is a system of coding all of the accounting standards contained within Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), as used within the United States.
The intent of the codification was to organize the thousands of page of accounting standards that had been promulgated over the years by a variety of committees and entities, such as statements of accounting standards, technical bulletins, practice bulletins, consensus positions, and implementation guides. The codification also includes the accounting positions taken by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which can be useful for those companies that are publicly held. Doing so has made it much easier to research GAAP information. Someone researching GAAP can now search within the following general categories of codification information to locate what they need:
Topic 100: General Principles
Topic 200: Presentation
Topic 300: Assets
Topic 400: Liabilities
Topic 500: Equity
Topic 600: Revenue
Topic 700: Expenses
Topic 800: Broad Transactions
Topic 900: Industry
There are also a number of sub-categories within each of the primary topic areas just noted.
All information stated in the codification is considered to be authoritative in supporting accounting positions taken. Conversely, all accounting information not in the codification is considered to be non-authoritative for the purpose of supporting a position taken.
The codification is maintained on-line by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). The FASB also provides the codification in a multi-volume printed edition, which it updates once a year.