Washington (April 30, 2004) -- The concerns of the nation’s small business are being pushed aside as a result of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s proposal to require stock options expensing, according to Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.

"As FASB is rushing to implement the proposal on stock option expensing by the end of the year, I am very much concerned that small business issues are being pushed aside or not addressed at all," Enzi said during a Senate committee hearing.

Enzi noted that the board's plan would apply to both publicly traded and privately held companies. "A number of these privately held companies are startups and very small. Many I have spoken to recently are completely unaware that this proposal would apply to them," he said.

Along with Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, chair of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Enzi said that he is exploring the "potentially harmful effects" of the FASB proposal, which would require public companies to count employee stock options as a corporate expense starting in 2005 -- and starting in 2006 for privately held companies.

"Based upon FASB's own actions, it really is not listening to small business. If anything, it appears that they have stacked the deck against small business, while attempting to put the blame and responsibility on others," Enzi told FASB chair Bob Herz, who testified at the hearing.

"At its best, this FASB proposal is a Mad Hatter game of hide-and-go-seek for small business trying to find the appropriate accounting standard to run its business," Enzi said.

-- WebCPA staff

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