What Is the Accounting Principles Board?

The Accounting Principles Board (APB) was the former authoritative body of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) formed in 1959. It was replaced in 1973 by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). The purpose of the APB was to issue guidelines and rules on accounting principles. Some of the opinions released by the APB still stand as part of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), but most have been either amended or entirely superseded by FASB statements.

Understanding the Accounting Principles Board

Between 1959 and 1973, the Accounting Principles Board (APB) was charged with creating accounting standards and issuing pronouncements related to accounting theory and practice. Membership ranged from 18 to 21 representatives from major accounting firms, industry, and academia. A two-thirds vote of the members was required to issue an opinion. The APB served an important role, as it was the first organized body to lay the foundation for GAAP that is so integral to the integrity of financial statements today. The APB itself was a successor organization to the Committee on Accounting Procedure, which was considered ineffective. However, due to its lack of resources, the APB also could not keep pace with the changes and growth of the types of transactional activity in corporate America that required financial reporting.

Among the 31 opinions that the APB issued during its existence were ones related to accounting for leases, income taxes, business combinations, intangibles, stock issued to employees for compensation, early extinguishment of debt. It also published opinions on disclosure of accounting policies and reporting interim financial data and results of discontinued operations.