Note 3 — Summary of significant accounting policies

Basis of Accounting and Use of Estimates

The Postal Service conforms to accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP) and maintains its accounting records and prepares its financial statements on the accrual basis of accounting. Following these principles, estimates and assumptions are made that affect the amounts reported in the Financial Statements and disclosed in the Notes to the Financial Statements. Actual results may differ from estimates.

These financial statements reflect the audited results of operations of the United States Postal Service for the years ended September 30, 2010, 2009 and 2008 and its financial position as of September 30, 2010 and 2009. All references to years, unless otherwise stated, refer to the fiscal year beginning October 1 and ending September 30. All references to quarters, unless otherwise stated, refer to quarters within fiscal years 2010, 2009 and 2008. Subsequent events through November 15, 2010, the date that the financial statements were issued, have been evaluated.