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Journal of Accounting and Public Policy

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Accounting and finance


This study examines foundation oversight authority as a distinct tool used to maintain the accounting profession’s delegated authority to set standards. Prior literature traditionally focuses on the standard-setting boards and technical arguments surrounding proposed accounting standards. We examine whether the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) can manage stakeholder conflict and legitimize contentious activity through exercise of its oversight role. The presented case is a qualitative analysis of the FAF’s GASB Scope of Authority project, a rare public exercise of FAF oversight authority, in which the FAF applied its authority despite stakeholder disagreement on the line between oversight and standard setting. We observe the FAF’s oversight of standard setting due process as opposed to the content of proposed standard setting projects. The policy formalizes private consultation at this blurred boundary to safeguard board autonomy and delegated authority. Implications and precedence for the FASB and other contentious accounting issues (e.g., deliberations around ESG reporting) are discussed.


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