Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are a set of rules, standards, and guidelines for the preparation of financial statements. These principles are used by accountants and financial professionals to ensure that financial statements are presented in a consistent and transparent manner, and that they accurately reflect the financial condition and performance of a business. GAAP is developed and maintained by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which is an independent organization that sets accounting standards in the United States.
The FASB issues GAAP in the form of Statements of Financial Accounting Standards, which provide detailed guidance on how to account for specific transactions and events. Adherence to GAAP is important because it ensures that financial statements are comparable across different companies and industries. This makes it easier for investors and analysts to evaluate the financial health of a business and make informed decisions about whether to invest in it. In addition, GAAP provides a common language that allows businesses to communicate their financial information to a wide audience.