WASHINGTON (7/2/09)--The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on Wednesday released its complete codification of U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) after several years in production. The codification, which divides U.S. GAAP pronouncements into 90 separate accounting topics, “represents a milestone in U.S. accounting standards” and should make the process of accessing the standards more efficient, FASB Chair Robert Herz said. The codified standards are effective for reporting periods ending after Sept. 15, and will serve as the “single source of authoritative nongovernmental U.S. GAAP, " FASB said in a Wednesday release. According to the release, the codification “does not change GAAP” but “introduces a new structure” that “is organized in an easily accessible, user friendly online research system.” FASB has claimed that this new system of organization will reduce the time and effort needed for both general users and FASB officials to research accounting issues and will mitigate noncompliance risks. The online organization system will also allow FASB to provide producers of financial statements with real-time updates of accounting standards as they are changed or as new standards are released. The codification is available for use in either the Professional or Basic View. The Professional View--which costs $850 annually--offers fully functional access to the codification and is designed for accounting and reporting professionals. At no charge, the Basic View provides access to the entire codification but lacks certain functions of the Professional View such as advanced text searching capability. For more information, use the link.