The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has established regulatory accounting and financial reporting requirements for its jurisdictional entities in the electric, natural gas, and oil pipeline industries. These requirements play a vital role in the Commission’s strategy of setting just and reasonable cost-of-service rates. The foundation of the Commission’s accounting program is the Uniform System of Accounts codified in the Commission’s regulations. In addition, the Commission issues accounting rulings relating to specific transactions and applications through orders and Chief Accountant guidance letters. This body of accounting regulations, orders, and guidance letters comprises the Commission’s accounting and financial reporting requirements which promote consistent, transparent, and decision-useful accounting information for the Commission and other stakeholders. These accounting and financial reporting requirements take into consideration the Commission’s ratemaking policies, past Commission actions, industry trends, and external factors (e.g., economic, environmental, and technological changes, and mandates from other regulatory bodies) that impact the industries under the Commission’s jurisdiction.
Accounting and Financial Reporting Regulations
Electric Public Utilities & Licensees, Natural Gas, and Oil Pipeline companies within FERC jurisdiction are required to maintain their books and records in accordance with the Commission's Uniform System of Accounts (USofA). The USofA provides basic account descriptions, instructions, and accounting definitions that are useful in understanding the information reported in the Annual Report Form Nos. 1, 1-F, 2, 2A, 6, and 60, and Quarterly Report Form Nos. 3Q and 6Q. Hard copies of all four systems of accounts are available from the U.S. Government Printing Office. Ask for Code of Federal Regulations, Title 18, Conservation of Power and Water Resources, Parts 1-399, Revised as of April 1 of the current year. The toll-free telephone number is 1-866-512-1800 or in the DC area at 202-512-1800. They can also be purchased online at http://bookstore.gpo.gov/
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Periodically, the Commission will issue orders to revise its Uniform System of Accounts and financial reporting requirements through a rulemaking process.
Formal Accounting Guidance
The Commission and its Chief Accountant provide guidance to, and respond to inquiries from, regulated entities on the implementation of standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board and existing or emerging industry-wideor entity specific accounting issues within the context of the Uniform Systems of Accounts. The advice provided in guidance letters issued by the Chief Accountant represent the views of the Commission's accounting staff and serve as controlling accounting guidance for regulated entities unless or until superseded by rehearing or other Commission action.
Additional Accounting Guidance
The Commission's Uniform Systems of Accounts provide that in order to maintain uniformity of accounting, regulated entities must submit questions of doubtful interpretations to the Commission for consideration and decision. Accordingly,the Commission’s Chief Accountant provides formal accounting guidance in response to accounting requests filed with the Commission. Informal accounting guidance may also be requested and obtained from accounting staff via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and phone (202) 502-8877.
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