AICPA Launches Survey on GAAP Statements; Private Co. Stakeholders

The American Institute of CPA’s (AICPA) announced last week that it had launched a Web-based survey to poll the stakeholders of private company financial reporting - bank lenders, investor and venture capital/buyout firms, surety, bonding and insurance firms, business owners and managers, auditors, and more - to determine if general purpose financial statements prepared for private companies’ stakeholders are meeting their needs.

A key issue related to this question is whether or not the cost of providing all that is required in private company GAAP financial statements is justified, as it may be for publicly traded companies.

“With small and young companies creating two-thirds of the net new jobs in our country, and employing half of all private–sector workers, it is time to address this topic in an in-depth manner” said James Castellano, Chairman of the task force created by the AICPA to address this topic. “It is also important to stress that the task force leading this research effort has by no means reached any conclusion, and has worked to ensure the survey asks the necessary questions to elicit what will most likely be diverse points of view from those being surveyed,” he added.

The survey will be targeted to a broad outreach, via accessible at http://survey.themsgroup.com/aicpa.html, and will also reach various stakeholders via a separate phone survey, “Our goal is to capture views of the broadest as well as the obvious key stakeholders affected by private company financial reporting,” said Daniel Noll, Director of Accounting Standards. We will keep the survey open until September 15th to give ample time for all who wish to participate and offer their input on a topic that is of growing interest.

Individual responses will be kept confidential, but the general results of the survey will be announced in the fall of 2004.

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