Washington (April 28, 2003) - The American Institute of CPAs kicked off its national Spring Council meeting Sunday by acknowledging there will be different sets of audit standards for public and privately-owned businesses and embracing its diminished role as the standard setter for the latter.

"One set of standards no longer looks operable," said AICPA chairman William F. Ezzell in the conference's opening session Sunday. "We have to step forward in our role in setting standards for non-issuers (privately-held companies that do not issue public stock).

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