There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are used as the basis for financial reporting. The original GAAP documents span thousands of pages, and so are difficult to research. The GAAP Guidebook solves this problem by condensing GAAP into a single volume. This course describes the key elements of each topic, how accounting information is disclosed, and where to look in the FASB Codification source documents for additional information. The text contains hundreds of practical examples that show how to apply GAAP to real-world situations, as well as sample journal entries and usage tips. In short, the GAAP Guidebook serves as a handy reference for accountants who need quick answers to difficult problems.


Steven M. Bragg, CPA

Steven M. Bragg, CPA, is a full-time book and course author who has written more than 70 business books. He provides Western CPE with self-study courses in the areas of accounting and finance, with an emphasis on the practical application of accounting standards and management techniques. A sampling of his courses include the The New Controller Guidebook, The GAAP Guidebook, Accountants’ Guidebook, and Closing the Books: An Accountant’s Guide. He also manages the Accounting Best Practices podcast.

Steven has been the CFO or controller of both public and private companies and has been a consulting manager with Ernst & Young and an auditor with Deloitte & Touche. He holds an MBA from Babson College, a Master of Finance from Bentley College, and a BA from the University of Maine (summa cum laude).

Course Specifics

Aug 1, 2018
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • Cite the accounting principles that underlie Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

Chapter 2

  • Note the transactions related to discontinued operations, as well as the disclosures required for certain accounting transactions.

Chapter 3

  • Identify the account classifications used in the balance sheet, as well as the structure of the balance sheet.

Chapter 4

  • State the transactions included in and excluded from other comprehensive income.

Chapter 5

  • Note the different formats in which the income statement can be presented.

Chapter 6

  • Cite the contents of the sections of the statement of cash flows, and the differences in presentation for the different types of statements of cash flows.

Chapter 7

  • Recognize the disclosures required by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Chapter 8

  • Identify the situations in which accounting changes are allowed, and note the mechanics of retrospective application of changes.

Chapter 9

  • State the methods used to derive current cost.

Chapter 10

  • Note the calculations for basic earnings per share and diluted earnings per share.

Chapter 11

  • Identify the assumptions that underlie the integral view and discrete view of interim reporting.

Chapter 12

  • Recognize the situations that can cause reportable risks and uncertainties.

Chapter 13

  • State the segment test rules used to determine reportable segments.

Chapter 14

  • Note the accounting treatment for lending arrangements and loan origination fees.

Chapter 15

  • Identify the accounting for impairment losses on equity and debt securities, as well as the accounting for these investments in the different investment classifications.

Chapter 16

  • Recognize how the equity method is formulated and updated.

Chapter 17

  • Cite how the periodic and perpetual inventory methods are used to derive the cost of goods sold, and how the gross profit method and retail method are used to estimate ending inventory.

Chapter 18

  • Recognize the rules for recognizing and disclosing deferred advertising costs, as well as the accounting for insurance contracts.

Chapter 19

  • Identify the situations in which goodwill is associated with reporting units, and note the rules for conducting impairment testing.

Chapter 20

  • Note the valuation method used for acquired fixed assets, as well as the calculations for the various depreciation methods.

Chapter 21

  • Identify the assessments and surcharges associated with insurance activities.

Chapter 22

  • State the accounting rules for deferring3 and recognizing asset retirement obligations.

Chapter 23

  • Note the circumstances under which the cost of employee and other contractual terminations can be recognized.

Chapter 24

  • Cite the characteristics of and reporting obligations associated with commitments.

Chapter 25

  • State the circumstances under which loss contingencies are recognized, and when they are only disclosed.

Chapter 26

  • Identify the methods used to place valuations on guarantees.

Chapter 27

  • State the components of debt, as well as the circumstances under which a debt arrangement is considered to be a troubled debt restructuring.

Chapter 28

  • Note the circumstances under which a spinoff occurs, and when a dividend is in arrears.

Chapter 29

  • Identify the evaluation criteria for a contract, the components of the transaction price, and when a contract modification triggers treatment as a new contract.

Chapter 30

  • Recognize the circumstances under which the costs of compensated absences are recognized and disclosed.

Chapter 31

  • State the key elements of net periodic pension cost, and the accounting for defined benefit and defined contribution plans.

Chapter 32

  • Note how costs are derived for exercised and unexercised stock options.

Chapter 33

  • Identify the proper expense recognition for insurance contracts and business process reengineering.

Chapter 34

  • State the types of activities classified as research and development, and how research and development costs are to be recognized.

Chapter 35

  • Recognize which tax rate to apply to a reporting period.

Chapter 36

  • Identify the types of acquisitions, and the types of intangible assets that can be recognized as part of an acquisition.

Chapter 37

  • Identify the situations in which a controlling financial interest cannot be determined, as well as the types of eliminations used when conducting a consolidation.

Chapter 38

  • Note the accounting for derivative speculation, and the classifications for hedges and investments. Recognize the methods used to measure hedge effectiveness.

Chapter 39

  • State the concepts upon which fair value measurements are derived.

Chapter 40

  • Cite the circumstances in which the fair value option can be applied, and the disclosures related to financial instruments.

Chapter 41

  • Note the accounting for payments to suppliers in foreign currencies, as well as how to identify a functional currency.

Chapter 42

  • Identify the situations in which interest capitalization can be used, and when an interest rate should be imputed.

Chapter 43

  • Note the leasing rules related to asset substitution.
  • Recall the circumstances under which a separate lease component is considered to exist.
  • Note the different types of lease payments.
  • Recall how the 12-month lease exception works.
  • Identify the unique characteristics of sales-type and direct financing leases.
  • Note the restrictions on the use of the risk-free discount rate when deriving a lease present value.

Chapter 44

  • Note the valuation alternatives in a nonmonetary exchange, and the usage rules for boot.

Chapter 45

  • Cite the types of entities considered to be related parties, and what information should be disclosed about them.

Chapter 46

  • State the types of events classified as subsequent events, and note which of these events can alter the financial statements.

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