Monday, October 25, 2004

Additional FARS sources or sources for the same information that is on the FARS disk

In addition to the FARS CD-rom disk at the reference desk, accounting students who have the assignment that requires them to look up literature in the FARS disk may also use the following:

On Reserve, with 11th edition of the Kieso’s Immediate Accounting book, there is the CD disk.
Call number HF 5635.K5 2004 CD-ROM (2 copies of the disk are available)
This could be used by students on their own laptops, or they could be set up at the Reference Desk.
(Reserve copies of the CD say one day loan.)

For many students, this is their first exposure to the official accounting literature. It isn’t easy as they have to determine the issues in their problem, and find the appropriate literature to resolve the issues.
In the second part of the assignment, the students will be presented with the literature and asked how it applies to the situation. Some students may not understand the difference between the words “may” and “shall” in the literature, for example. (I certainly don’t understand the accounting.)

A purpose of this assignment is to have the students become acquainted with searching the literature using FOLIO software, used for the FASB’s FARS disk as well as the CPA exam. The FARS disk was packaged as part of the 11th edition of the Kieso Intermediate Accounting book.
However, not all students seem to have this edition of the book.

Some professors really wanted the students to use the FARS disk. Others have said that how the students access the information is not as important as searching the information.

The advantages of the online resources include that they may be searched off campus.

The following are online sources that have the same materials contained in the FARS disk:

RIA Checkpoint
Change practice area from Federal (tax) to WG&L Fin Mgt & Reporting
FASB is an option in the Primary Source Materials
Searches are by keyword (or citation if known)
The thesaurus/query tool can be helpful
(Drilling down in the Table of Contents shows which FASB statements (original pronouncements, current text, and other publications) that may be searched. One may search individually or combine the documents in a search.
Advantage to this database: Links easily to referenced materials, thus eliminating separate searches for referenced materials.
Grey shading indicates superceded language.

CCH Business & Finance
Click on Securities tab
Scroll down to SEC Accountants’ Module
Click on link to Financial Accounting Standards (FASB), which lists the original pronouncements (grey shading represents language that has been superceded), current text, EITF (emerging issues task force issues) and the Topical Index. (The students will most likely need to search those areas.)
Advantage to this database: Easier keyword and phrase searching than the FARS disk. Can easily click to select data sets to search.
Disadvantage to searching this compared to RIA: Lack of internal links

FASB website
The EITF abstracts, FASB statements are searchable here. Since the FARS disk, RIA Checkpoint and CCH Business & Finance only have information as of June 2004, it is possible that some information on this web site may be more current.
Disadvantage to searching on No easy keyword or phrase search.
You must select the individual statement that you want to search, and view the statement either as originally announced, its summary and status. The status lists changes but does not incorporate them, so one needs to do a lot of searching to assemble one’s own current text. This would be very, very time consuming and I can’t recommend searching this way.

Advantage of this site: Best site for the most current information as recent changes are announced here. If you are experienced and know what you are looking for, this might be a good place to go.


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