New York (May 26, 2004) - When the Financial Accounting Standards Board issues an exposure draft for comment, it usually hears back from a relatively small number of experts - but that isn't the case with its recent ED on expensing stock options.


Since the opening of the comment period on March 31, FASB has received close to 2,000 comment letters from employees at all levels of Cisco Systems, one of many technology companies that wants the accounting standards-setter to back off on its proposal to mandate expensing, for fear that they will lose a valuable (if unvalued) employee incentive.


Cisco claims that the flood of letters is not coordinated in any way by the company itself, though it has exposed its employees to the issue, and maintains an extensive section on its Web site dedicated to its positions on various governmental and regulatory issues.


A random sampling of the letters makes it clear that Cisco employees take their options both very seriously and very personally, and consider the proposal "predominantly politically motivated."


"I am just now beginning to see the fruits of my labors, the beginnings of success and to realize the American dream," wrote one employee. "Now you want to take this away from me."


-- WebCPA staff

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