Attestation Update – A&A for CPAs

Technical stuff for CPAs providing attestation services

Just how many pages are there in GAAP, SAS and SSARS?

with 2 comments

For your general entertainment, just wanted to let you know that there are 7,692 pages in the Accounting Standards Codification (ASC, which constitutes GAAP) and 226 pages in SSARS. 

I just received a bound copy of the accounting standards codification, to help me with research. It is in four volumes, totaling just under 7” of thickness.  On a lark, I checked to see the length of different sections. Found the following:

  •     46 – notice to constituents
  •   501 – general principles
  •   703 – assets
  •   447  – liabilities
  •     80 – equity
  •   268 – revenue
  •   900 – expenses
  • 1,805 – broad transactions
  • 2,583 – industry
  •   256 – glossary
  •   103 – index
  • 7,692 – total pages

If you were thinking GAAP has grown to a huge beast, in terms of pages you are right. 

I also have a printed copy of the SSARS codification to help with several writing projects. It is 226 pages long. The core text is 179 pages long and quite a few pages of that are for example reports, engagement letters, and representation letters.

For the SAS body of knowledge, there are about 1,100 pages in the copy on my shelf. That includes a very usable index but excludes all of the restated and clarified SASs that aren’t yet effective.

Since I’m looking at the number of pages, let’s check IFRS for SMEs.  This is a self-contained body of knowledge for small and medium-sized enterprises based on the IFRS platform. It is very boiled down set of standards that can be used for small companies. The IFRS website indicates this is only 230 pages long.

So a few comparisons only us CPAs will enjoy:

  • ASC 7,692  – – IFRS-SME 230
  • SAS 1,100 – – SSARS 226

Written by Jim Ulvog

April 28, 2011, 9:00 am at 9:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. […] FASB has been prolific by any measure. The codification of authoritative GAAP alone is almost 8,000 pages for goodness sake. Believe it or not, that’s about twice as wordy as the U.S. Tax […]

  2. […] system of financial reporting.   A major feature will be that, while U.S. GAAP runs to 8,000 pages, my document could be only 80 pages.  Without going into the detail at this time, these are […]


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