Yesterday, the Financial Accounting Standards Board released Statement No. 162, The Hierarchy of Generally Accepted Accounting Standards. You can access it here.
In FASB's words:
The new standard is intended to improve financial reporting by identifying a consistent framework, or hierarchy, for selecting accounting principles to be used in preparing financial statements that are presented in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for nongovernmental entities.
Statement 162 lays out 4 levels of accounting principles, (a) through (d). According to the guidance, when an entity is preparing a financial statement (5300, e.g.) and has questions about how GAAP affects a particular transaction, it should look through the accounting principles under (a) first. If the (a) principles do not address the situation, the entity should then proceed to (b). And so on.
The Standard is effective 60 days after the SEC approves the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Auditing amendments to AU Section 411, The Meaning of Present Fairly in Conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. (I'm not sure when that will be.)
I'd forward this to your accounting team.
Saturday was a success! The rain stayed away, and we both said "I do." I'll put some photos together in an album for you guys to look at - as soon as I get everyone's OK before I post their grins on the internet!