Pending Content System—Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Why should I use the Pending Content System (PCS)?
A. The purpose of the Pending Content System (PCS) is to enable Professional View subscribers to tailor their view of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Codification website to their specific needs by streamlining and filtering pending content based on effective dates. The PCS allows you to create a profile specific to your circumstances and integrate the effective pending content based on your profile. Therefore, you will be able to see only the accounting guidance appropriate to your criteria without the “noise” of other pending content paragraphs.Q2. What is my default view when I log into the Codification website?
A. The standard view of the Codification website is the default view upon log in. It would show all pending content after the current paragraph.Q3. Can any user of the FASB Codification utilize the PCS?
A. Currently, only Professional View subscribers have access to the PCS.Q4. Can I save my profile to my account?
A. At present, the tool does not have a saving functionality. However, it will be available at a later date and will allow users to save multiple profiles to one account.Q5. What if I want to access the transition guidance paragraphs for specific pending content?
A. Links to transition guidance paragraphs still will be included within the paragraphs. Additionally, to help you through the PCS preference selection process in determining applicability of indefinitely deferred and early adoptable guidance, all ASUs listed will link to their transition guidance paragraphs (Section 65). Please note that reading the method of transition also is important in determining how the guidance is applied.Q6. What happens when there are multiple pending content paragraphs related to the same Codification paragraph?
A. In some instances, areas of the Codification will have multiple pending contents with links to two or more different transition guidance paragraphs. This occurs when there are more than one Accounting Standards Updates (“ASU”) outstanding pertaining to that topic.
- Current text will be displayed if none of the pending contents are effective for your profile.
- The PCS will display only the latest effective paragraph and hide the rest of the pending contents if all of the pending content is effective/integrated based on your profile.
- In certain instances, the standard Codification view may be displayed while the PCS is enabled. This will occur if a nonintegrated (or not effective) ASU precedes an integrated (or effective) ASU. Typically, pending contents would be effective in sequential order; however, in this instance, the pending contents are not effective in sequential order. Thus, the PCS will display the standard Codification view.
Q7. What if I want to view the standard view of the Codification (both current and pending content) within the FASB Codification?
A. All users will still have access to the standard view of the FASB Codification website. You can view the Codification in its original form by clearing your preferences and leaving the profile inputs blank. However, you cannot view both the standard view and the PCS view simultaneously. Also, the PCS view is optional.Q8. How can I tell that the PCS is active?
A. You can distinguish between the standard view of the Codification and the PCS view of the Codification by recognizing the formatting of an affected paragraph. Any paragraph that is affected by the PCS tool is generally formatted with a dotted blue line. When the PCS is turned off, the Codification content will have no special markup.
Q9. How does the Codification Search function work in conjunction with the PCS?
A. When the PCS is enabled, the Codification search function returns search results based upon the user's PCS profile. In other words, search results are narrowed to include only content that the user has integrated. All non-integrated content is excluded from search results under the PCS view. More information is available on the “Searching” Help page.
Q10. What user information must be input in order to access the PCS?
A. Each user must input the following information in order to save a profile and access the PCS:
- Fiscal Year Beginning Date
- Type of Entity
- Period Type
If all three inputs are left blank, then the Codification will be displayed through the standard Codification view. If some of the inputs are left blank, an error message will appear.
Q11. What does “Fiscal Year Beginning Date” mean?
A. “Fiscal Year Beginning Date” refers to the first date of the annual period an entity uses for GAAP accounting purposes and/or preparing GAAP financial statements. An entity’s fiscal year may or may not have the same beginning date as a calendar year. All users should note that the PCS requires the beginning date of the entity’s fiscal year and not the ending date of the entity’s fiscal year. For example, a calendar-year entity would enter 01/01/XXXX within the “Fiscal Year Beginning Date” field, not 12/31/XXXX. Note also that the “Fiscal Year Beginning Date” is the same even if the “interim” period type is selected.Q12. Why is “Type of Entity” important and how do I determine my type of entity?
A. Each user must select from the following types of entities:
- Public: Business Entity
- Public: Not‐for‐Profit
- Public: Employee Benefit Plan
- Non‐Public: Business Entity
- Non‐Public: Not‐for‐Profit
- Non‐Public: Employee Benefit Plan
This information is important for correct use of the PCS because certain pending content within the FASB Codification may have different required effective dates depending on the type of entity or because certain pending content may only be applicable to certain types of entities.
To determine your type of entity, do the following:
- Determine if you are a “Public Business Entity” as defined in the Codification Master Glossary
- Distinguish whether your entity is a “Public Entity” as defined in the Codification Master Glossary
- Identify whether your entity is an employee benefit plan or has characteristics of a “Not‐for-Profit” as defined in the Master Glossary.
Q13. What does “Period Type” mean?
A. “Period Type” refers to whether you want to access accounting requirements as they relate to either an annual period or an interim period. This information is important for correct use of the PCS because pending content can have specific limitations for application in an interim period. For example, interim periods may have a later required effective date than the required effective date for an annual period. Note also that the “Fiscal Year Beginning Date” is the same even if the “interim” period type is selected.Q14. Are the “Period Type” and “Fiscal Year Beginning Date” fields interdependent?
A. No, for the “Fiscal Year Beginning Date” field a user should always select the first date of the annual period used for GAAP accounting purposes and/or preparing GAAP financial statements, regardless of the “Period Type” selection. If a user selects “interim period” in the “Period Type” field, that user should not use the first date of that interim period for the “Fiscal Year Beginning Date” field. Rather, the user should input the first date of the annual period in which that interim period falls.System Limitations
The PCS is a useful tool for customizing the Codification website based on a specified profile. However, as with other systematic tools, there are known system limitations. Please read and understand the constraints below.
Q15. What are the system limitations related to special case standards (e.g., standards with indefinite deferrals)?
A. The system relies on the user’s judgment for interpreting the guidance for special case standards such as those with indefinite or partial deferrals. For example, paragraph 480‐10‐65‐1 (transition guidance from FSP FAS 150‐3 and FAS 150) indefinitely defers the classification, measurement, and disclosure provisions of the Subtopic for “all other financial instruments that are mandatorily redeemable.” Therefore, it is important for a user to adequately review the transition guidance paragraphs for those identified as special case standards in order to determine the applicability to their specific entity.Q16. What are the system limitations related to early application of pending content?
A. If a user selects to early adopt a standard that is not yet allowed for that specific profile, the PCS will display inapplicable results. For example, transition guidance 606‐10‐65‐1, relating to Revenue Recognition, allows early adoption provisions for “all other entities” but not earlier than the Public Business Entity effective date. The earliest possible Public Business Entity fiscal year beginning date is 12/16/2016. If a Non‐Public Business Entity user selects to early adopt the standard through the PCS tool and backdates the fiscal year beginning date to any date before 12/16/2016 (12/15/2016 as an example), the PCS will display integrated revenue recognition guidance, as if it is effective. The PCS tool relies on user judgment for early adoption. Therefore, we strongly suggest that users read the transition guidance and appropriately determine the applicability to their entity.Q17. What if I want to use the PCS to find the effective FASB Codification content for a past or future period; (back dating and future dating)?
A. You may use a past or future date; however, the system limits the “Fiscal Year Beginning Date” field to a three‐year window before and after the actual date the user is utilizing in the PCS. The PCS is not intended for finding the effective FASB Codification content for an extended past or future period. An issue in back dating is that certain standards that would have been pending at the backdated time may have already become current and are no longer available as pending content. In addition, current content at that historical point in time is only available in the Archive (not through the PCS tool). An issue with future dating is that a standard may not have been issued yet, so it is not included in the Codification. Therefore, back dating or future dating within the system could cause non‐GAAP results, even within the three‐year window. Consider using the FASB Codification Archived Content to find the applicable Codification content for a past period.