AICPA calls for new standards board for private companies

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05 Oct 2010

A statement from Barry Melancon, president and CEO of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), published on Monday includes a call for the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) to set up a separate standards board for private company accounting.

The FAF currently oversees the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which sets standards for nongovernmental entities such as publicly traded and privately held companies, and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), which handles the standards for state and local governmental accounting and financial reporting. However, much of FASB's work has been devoted to the needs of public companies and their auditors, therefore Melancon states:

The Blue Ribbon Panel on Private Company Standard Setting will meet in the AICPA's offices in New York on Oct. 8 and we anticipate based on the preliminary conclusions during prior meetings it will vote to recommend a new model of financial reporting that will generate truly differentiated standards for private companies. Crucial to the effective implementation of that recommendation is establishing a separate standard setting board under the Financial Accounting Foundation to provide a comprehensive solution to the problem of private company accounting. This has been a long time coming and I believe the case for a separate private company standards board under the oversight of the FAF is stronger than ever.

The IASB has developed the IFRS for SMEs that can be used by private companies. However, even though there have been calls not to overlook IFRS for SMEs (see our earlier story) a 'home grown' alternative to the possible adoption of the IFRS for SMEs seems to be preferred in the United States as IFRS has not yet been approved by the SEC for use by U.S. public companies.

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